September 14, 2018
CONTACT: Bianca A. Garza
PHONE: 813.892.3929


(Mt. Shasta, CA) – As catastrophic wildfires continue to threaten and devastate our area, the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center announced it is launching new programs and a fundraising campaign to restore watersheds and protect our communities and forest.

Ecology Center Board Member Andy Fusso noted, “For over 30 years, the Ecology Center has been a strong, grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Local people remain the base of our support. Yet today, the challenges – particularly from uncontrolled wildfire and threats to public lands – are different. It’s never been like this before”.

By creating its “Become A Mountain Patron” campaign on the Patreon platform, the center has new ways to provide patrons with benefits, insight and access into its work. At the highest level, those signed up by October 1 will receive two tickets to the center’s Harvest Dinner on October 13 at Mt. Shasta’s City Park.  “Now it’s easy for people – locals, downstream and international visitors alike – to connect with us online. Funding these new programs is crucial, so we’re reaching out”, Fusso said.

The campaign is now live:

According to Dr. Arielle Halpern, Senior Program Director with the center, “We don’t need, necessarily, to fear fire, we need to change our relationship with it.” Collaborating with the Karuk and Yurok Tribes of California, Dr. Halpern completed her 2016 doctoral dissertation (in Ethnobotany, Fire Ecology, and Plant Ecology) on prescribed fire and tanoak-associated cultural plant resources, which gives her a unique lens for understanding fire processes.

“Over the last year we’ve been talking with our supporters, neighbors and allies about developing a Prescribed Burn Association for Mount Shasta. The interest has just continued to build”, says Dr. Halpern.

Along with the University of California’s Cooperative Extension, the Ecology Center is planning a two day Prescribed Fire Workshop in early November to bring fire experts of various backgrounds to the area, and then meet on private property for a demonstration prescribed burn utilizing many of the concepts, processes and tools discussed. Full details will be announced shortly. And on October 25, there will be another community presentation on fire management by former USFS expert Richard Fairbanks.

“It’s time to come together”, Fusso said. “We’re still here, and ready for new ways to continue our work to preserve, protect and restore the Mount Shasta Bioregion”.

The Patreon campaign video, produced by local videographer Josh Thomas and associate producer Shon Bollock of Locks Media, highlights the center’s work, from challenging the geothermal & water bottling industries to restoring pollinator habitats.