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A Plan for a Community

Posted Thursday, July 29, 2021
— Connections 2021 Summer

American black bear in the northern Green Mountains. Photo: Jenny Goyne.

Greetings friends, and welcome to the Summer 2021 edition of CONNECTIONS, the quarterly newsletter from Cold Hollow to Canada. 

I write this while looking out across a familiar ridgeline to the south, clouded by an unfamiliar haze, and with a persistent odor of campfire, but with no campsite in sight. We often speak about the impacts of climate change, but here in the Cold Hollows we don’t often see those impacts so clearly and in such real time, right in our own backyard. There’s no denying it—the greater number, intensity, and duration of the fires out west which we’ve seen over the last few years is exacerbated by the changes we’re experiencing in climate. The eerily beautiful sunsets over our horizon tonight are a reminder of what we face if we don’t meet the challenge head on, in the ever-shrinking time we have left. 

In June, Cold Hollow to Canada released our new 5-year Strategic Plan as a road map to guide our work in the region around forest stewardship and conservation as a natural climate solution. How we respond to the changes we face will define our communities for generations to come, and will decide whether the shared identity around this place we call home will persist. To ensure that we choose the right path, we have created this document, which describes CHC’s plan to guide our land protection, stewardship, and community empowerment activities. We also have an accompanying StoryMap that details priority forestlands we see as key to this work.

Although the window within which we must meet these challenges is already closing, and the urgency of our task rising, the opportunity at hand is momentous. This plan extends beyond the work of our team and Board of Directors to the work of our community as we face the challenges before us, and effect the change which we are called to. 

We’re in this together, and as such Cold Hollow to Canada is evolving what membership in the organization looks like, and what responsibilities come with it. Since our inception, we’ve considered members to be those who are engaged in our work, most directly through subscription to this quarterly e-newsletter Connections. No financial contribution has been necessary for membership, and that will not change, but we now ask for slightly greater engagement. As a member, you will receive early invitations to our events, including our Annual Gathering, regular news updates from the region, and now vote for our Board of Directors. 

This last one is a new role that will take place at the Annual Gathering this fall. Our members provide the compass that our leadership needs to set direction, and our leadership is accountable to our community. We need your buy-in, so please mark your calendars for Thursday, October 14 for an evening of great food, fantastic company, and an opportunity to take a greater hand in crafting the future of Cold Hollow to Canada. Learn more about the event and purchase tickets here.