Prince Rupert, British Columbia © Prince Rupert Port Authority
Hosted by Arthur Cambouris, our second Zoom 68 session attracted 28 of us to hear Spencer Beebe and Chris Brookfield ’94 talk about environmental issues largely involving the Pacific Coast, from northern California to the North Slope of Alaska (otherwise referred to as Salmon Nation).
Spencer Beebe worked for thirteen years with The Nature Conservancy, first as Northwest and Western regional director and then as president of the Conservancy’s International Program. In 1987, he became founding president of Conservation International, and in 1991, he returned to his native Pacific Northwest to establish Ecotrust in Portland, Oregon, with the goal of protecting and restoring “the rain forests of home.” As stated on the organization’s website, the mission of Ecotrust is “to inspire fresh thinking that creates economic opportunity, social equity, and environmental well-being. Our goal is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems here and around the world.”
Chris Brookfield is the Founder and Managing Director of Salmon Nation, whose stated purpose is “to accelerate a vibrant and growing movement towards healthier, more localized, more regenerative economies and communities. Our region already is a hotbed of creativity and experimentation. Salmon Nation identifies who and what you need to know to invest time, energy, and money towards building a bioregion where people, culture and nature all thrive.”
Both Williams alums alternated with each other in presenting issues confronting communities both large and small in Salmon Nation, emphasizing the expertise that many native villages and settlements have in dealing with important environmental, sociological and economic challenges. Mention was made, for example, of the port city of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, contrasting it with the province’s smaller port of Kitimat, eighty-eight miles inland on an arm of the Pacific and originally a member of the Haisla First Nation.
The almost one-hour session allowed for questions in the closing minutes, and everyone in attendance seemed to have enjoyed hearing these two world experts hold forth in an engaging and friendly manner.
Upcoming Zoom Sessions
January 2023 – Gardening
March 2023 – The ins and outs of things we don”t know about New Orleans (with David Marcello)