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“You are brilliant, and the Earth is hiring…”

Terry Mock, SLDI Co-founder

By Terry Mock
Follow Terry on Twitter: @SustainLandDev

June 2009

My youngest child just graduated from my old east-coast alma mater. I was proud and relieved, however, the commencement speech that I wish she had heard was delivered 3000 miles away by Paul Hawken at the University of Portland:

Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation… but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, civilization needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades…And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done… If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth… and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse…What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world… Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.

As if to add an exclamation point, a few days later the Oregon House of Representatives voted 51-0 to approve an Oregon Marine Reserves Bill outlining a balanced and diverse procedure for the planning of Oregon’s new marine reserves. The historic bill included the development of regional community groups that will assist with the shaping of potential marine reserve sites as an investment in sustainable ocean management, and outlined a detailed plan to complete evaluation of six potential marine reserve sites by following a pilot marine reserve project at Redfish Rocks near Port Orford on the southern Oregon coast.

Another Sustainable Step in Oregon

Located along a 1000’ ridgetop overlooking the entire Redfish Rocks Marine Preserve, Ocean Mountain Ranch is expected to achieve certification as a SLDI-Certified Sustainable Project and will provide for long-term yield of high-quality hardwood, softwood, and wildlife habitat while serving as a model organic forestry/grazing operation incorporating residential, agricultural, educational, recreational, and industrial activities. Ocean Mountain Ranch is partnering with Sotheby’s International Realty to promote sustainable-land-development best practices on the southern Oregon coast by mixing nature, tradition, and economics for a sustainable future.

Your participation and comments are welcome.

Sustainable Oregon Links
Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
Oregon Marine Preserves
Redfish Rocks Marine Preserve Map
Friends of the Elk River wilderness campaign
Port Orford Community Stewardship Area
Gold Beach
Curry County
Wild Rivers Coast


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