Perspectives — Gene's corner

The latest musings and reflections on sustaining this region from Forterra President Gene Duvernoy.

The Community of the Eclipse

I wrote this post as a Sunday interlude 6 days and 5 hours since after our clocks struck 10:20 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, Monday August 21, the exact moment that the moon passed precisely in front of the sun to create a shadow across the northwest, to a greater or lesser extent. By the time we post this, the media mania of the moment will be onto something else, which assuredly will not be anywhere near as benign as a solar eclipse.

Continue

Talking and Walking in Kittitas County

Two days of conversation with leaders across Kittitas County and one day of hiking. For the last few months and particularly over two concentrated days, we met with business leaders, advocates, planners, developers, farmers, elected officials and tribal leaders; to name some. The conversations only barely scratched the surface of course—of the richness of the place and the challenges it faces.

Continue

30 Years an Anchor of Place

Our first visit was in July 1985, short as it was. We were on our tandem and passing through, checking out places to get married. Our first stay was late April 1994, delightful as it was. By then, we had our two kids in tow, and Sina took her first steps on the cabin’s porch. We’ve been returning for a week most every year since.

Continue

A Backyard Cosmological Event

The weather so far this spring has been as dour and soggy as any of the past 37 that I’ve lived here in the PNW. This Saturday morning was different. Twenty-five days past the equinox and this mid-April day was leaning in and living up to its place on our Gregorian calendar. Accordingly, I was sitting and sunning outside, thinking about the cosmological event in miniature that I witnessed last summer.

Continue

A Monograph to Write, My Friends

Someday I may write a monograph, which I will start by describing a trip last summer to Chickamin Lake. What a place.

Continue

Reflections on Inauguration Day

Well friends, we have now had our 44th back-to-back peaceful transfer of power, to the 45th occupant of our Nation’s Presidential Office. We are six weeks shy of two centuries and twenty years since Washington handed the reigns to Adams. No coups, no assassinations by the opposition, no revolutions; but, yes, one immensely bloody civil war with scars still raw over 150 years later. Still, it is a remarkable history.

Continue

Seattle Asian Art Museum, Community and Magic

Building a sustaining community isn’t easy. Otherwise it wouldn’t be so rare. It’s takes thought, time, organic trial and error and a little of the undefinable, call it luck or even magic.

Continue

You Meet the Nicest People

I have returned to our state’s eastside numerous times this year, drawn by an incredible, long-loved ranch.  On a Thursday evening last July I spent the afternoon with the family who has called the ranch home for over 70 years.  We ended the conversation about 7:00 in the evening. 

Continue

Rogue Redux

It was like college again — which was a very long time ago indeed. Do the right thing and finish The Great Debate for my book club the following week, or float the Rogue? My answer too was much the same as 40 years ago — The Rogue, obviously.

Continue

The Big Garden

Working lands and urban lands are keystone lands that give character to neighborhoods and shape our region, writes Gene Duvernoy

Continue

A conversation with Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume

Gene sits down with hometown Bothell kid-turned-mayor Andy Rheaume to find out how he really feels about growth in his city.

Continue

A conversation with Seattle Metro Chamber President Maud Daudon

Gene sits down with the Seattle Chamber president to talk leadership and the connection between business and sustainability.

Continue

Op-Ed in the Seattle Times

In a Seattle Times op-ed, Forterra’s president Gene Duvernoy shares findings from recent polling we’ve done on attitudes toward growth in the Pacific Northwest.

Continue

A tribute to Frank Pritchard

I spend my days with some of the very best people in the region who are driven to make our place all it can be. Frank Pritchard was one of these great PNW citizens. Frank was a founding board member of Forterra, back when we called ourselves the Seattle-King County Land Trust.

Continue

Thirteen days in Korea

Gene’s recent visit to Korea highlighted similarities and contrasts between Korea and Washington state. But prevalent in both is progressive thinking by people deeply committed to resolving problems.

Continue

Remembering Doug Walker

Leading the way was how Doug hiked the mountains and lived his life. It is tragic that it now is also the way it ended a few days ago. Our friend and board member Doug Walker died December 31st while hiking in the Cascade Mountains.

Continue

Old and new

Cross laminated timber, when harvested right, can help reduce the fuel load that feeds devastating forest fires, offer a new source of jobs for our rural towns and provide a carbon-friendly, efficient building material for our large cities.

Continue

Primates, our mountains and state politics

Gene ruminates on how mountains broaden our perspective. They open our thinking when back at sea level doing our jobs. They make us better stewards of this place.

Continue

Rambling around one corner of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Gene Duvernoy’s hike in Alpine Lakes Wilderness serves as a reminder of just how important the Land and Water Conservation Fund is to the wilderness areas in Washington. LWCF protects and supports some our most treasured spaces but it expires in less than 100 days.

Continue

Some days are just lucky like that

A May morning with a blue sky and your garden coming on strong just has to mean good things for the rest of the day.

Continue

Making our region sustainable and prosperous

It has been 10 years since the launch of the Cascade and Olympic Agendas, and it is time for a top-to-bottom refresh. Through a series of structured conversations, town hall meetings and crowd sourcing, we will be working toward the Next Wave of the Agendas in the spring of 2015.

Continue

Hell to pay for climate change

Climate change is the biggest threat facing our region. Making our communities livable and welcoming to all will be fundamental to building the cohesion we will need to respond to that threat.

Continue

A live event unrehearsed and without edit

In order for our region to be sustainable, all of us need to be fully engaged. That was what happened at Ampersand Goes Totally Live – each contributor talked about sustainability from the prism of their own lives, talents and experiences.

Continue

A timeless story in a dash of paint

Forterra’s revamp of its regional sustainability program, has made it clear that our sustainability does not solely depend on natural systems, but equally depends on our human, social ones.

Continue