Why Support the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center?
What does the Mount Shasta region mean to you? Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy a natural playground for hiking, biking, water recreation, snow sports, fishing, and camping. Spiritual seekers from around the world and Native American Tribes see a sacred place of reverence and inspiration. Local residents appreciate mountain living in dramatic landscapes dominated by a snow-capped peak changing with each season. Rich in biodiversity, lush forests, and a hugely important source of fresh water for the state of California, the Mount Shasta bioregion is all of this, and more.
Imagine for a moment, if this mountain was only accessible to those who could pay a day-use fee, finding only a high-elevation ski condo development built over meadows sacred to local tribes, and surrounded by geothermal fracking operations and rampant industrial water extraction. Would this place still be so special?
Thankfully, due to the support of community members like you, these threats have not become a reality. Since 1988, the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center has successfully taken on these challenges and others through activism, collaboration and stewardship. Starting with the Save Mount Shasta campaign to protect Panther Meadows from the proposed ski resort development, we have held firm in our commitment to protect this unique region from harm and support concerned citizens in grassroots advocacy, while encouraging connection and engagement with nature.
We are rooted in the local community and take action through our own campaigns and by supporting citizens’ groups through fiscal sponsorship. We are unafraid to take on the big battles and we’re in it for the long haul.
Our Mission and Vision
The Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center is dedicated to protecting and restoring the outstanding natural and cultural values of Mount Shasta and the surrounding bioregion. The natural environment includes wild landscapes, biodiversity, watersheds, forests, and clean air and water for the people who live here and visit. Cultural values include an appreciation of natural and human history, indigenous ancestry, economic resilience and strengthening our connection with life on earth. Humans need nature, it’s important for us to go outside!
Our vision for the Mount Shasta Bioregion is one of humans living in harmony with nature. Wild places are protected and respectfully accessed by the public. Community members feel a sense of responsibility and are empowered to act as caretakers of the land. Government operates upon a foundation of mutual respect, accountability and trust. The economy is based on ecologically sustainable industries that do not depend on resource extraction, wasteful consumption and habitat destruction. The Mount Shasta area supports thriving communities, attracting visitors and residents alike who enjoy and care for our beautiful surroundings, our plant and animal communities, and of course, our precious water resources.
MSBEC works in several program areas to fulfill our mission and move towards this vision:
- Save Medicine Lake Highlands is our long-running campaign to protect this wild landscape 30 miles east of Mount Shasta, from industrial geothermal development and fracking. The area is a sacred site for several local tribes and preliminary research has shown it is an incredibly prolific source of pure groundwater. Through sustained advocacy, coalition building, research, and litigation, we have succeeded in challenging some of the leases and prevented the development from going ahead, but the court battle continues. Our ultimate goal is to secure permanent protection of this area.
- HOME (Honor Our Mountain Environment) is a community stewardship project that we initiated in 1997, in response to a proposal for day-use fees for visitors on Mount Shasta to fund maintenance costs. The program recruits stewardship volunteers from the community to assist the US Forest Service with maintenance and serve as ‘meadow interpreters’ to help protect this sensitive area and conduct restoration activities throughout the summer.
- Watershed Stewardship This program area includes our climate adaptation plan, Renew Siskiyou and our participation in the Upper Sacramento Integrated Regional Water Management Group. Renew Siskiyou engages local stakeholders in coordinating a cohesive, locally appropriate response to climate change. Persistent drought and catastrophic fire are the greatest climate threats facing Siskiyou County. Renew Siskiyou seeks to advance resilient forestry and conservative watershed management as tools to adapt to climate-related risks. The Regional Water Management Group brings together local nonprofits, municipalities, and tribes to discuss, integrate and plan for state-funded restoration and infrastructural projects in the Upper Sacramento River watershed.
How You Can Help
None of the Ecology Center’s work would be possible without the support of community members just like you. Our work is ‘for the community’ and ‘by the community’ – we rely on donations to fund our work in advocacy, research and stewardship activities. We also rely on volunteers to help with stewardship activities and community events such as our annual Film Fest and Earth Day Celebrations.
There are several ways you can support the Ecology Center:
- Become a member
- Become a business sponsor
- Donate to a specific program or activity
- Join us as a volunteer
With your support, we will be able to expand our work in several areas including:
- Expanding the HOME community stewardship program to other sites on Mount Shasta and within the bioregion
- Community- based invasive plant removal/restoration in conjunction with the US Forest Service and Siskiyou County
- Taking the Medicine Lake campaign to the next level and advocating for permanent protection at the State and/or Federal level.
- Implementing the workplan of Renew Siskiyou – Beginning with launching ‘Climate Conversations’ a bi-weekly forum to inform diverse interests and facilitate productive dialogue around adaptation issues of common concern. We are also working to research and publish a “Citizens Guide to Resilient Forestry and Ecosystem Services Valuation in the McCloud River Watershed” to advance sustainable forest management.