Over the past four years, I’ve had the privilege of working with one of the best staffs in the country. As National Employee Appreciation Day is observed on March 1 this year, I thought I’d write to let you know just how I feel about my colleagues — and make this proclamation of gratitude and respect for the staff of Sonoma Land Trust.

The American author and conservationist, Aldo Leopold, wrote that, “Conservation is an exercise of skill and insight.” At the Land Trust, you can see this conservation exercise taking place every day under pressure — the pressure of growth gobbling up land and impacts of climate change pushing down on our ecological systems, threatening our communities. Under pressure, our staff is out in front being proactive in land protection, stewardship and community engagement. Because the future is not promised to us, they work every day to protect the land of Sonoma County forever.”

We’re also very fortunate that several of our staffmembers have been with Sonoma Land Trust for 10 years or more; these individuals are: Reta Lockert, Wendy Eliot, Bob Neale, Shanti Edwards, Tony Nelson, Sheri Cardo and Julian Meisler. They’re humble folks who will be the first to try and deflect recognition and instead point out that it’s a joint effort by everyone. While they’re right that it’s a collaboration, their co-workers and I are the first to acknowledge that their long service to the Land Trust inspires us and leads the way.

Caring for the land is an old-fashioned approach so vitally needed today for us to get an edge on the challenges we face. It is with skill, insight, humor and good spirit that our staff at Sonoma Land Trust calls us all to work together to protect the land of Sonoma County forever. We’re so fortunate to have this team.

Dave Koehler
Executive Director