Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Siskiyou Land Conservancy and the strangest comment I've ever received...

Folks, I've received hate mail by the score and love mail by the one but in all my days writing this here (and other there) blog, I've never received something like this. To provide a little context, I recently wrote about the night(mare) drive Vicky and I took through northern California. I know if probably sounded like a real pain in the ass - that would be the result of my forgetting that we were in the midst of some beautiful countryside. (Lack of sleep will do that.)

Towering redwoods. Glistening falls. Thundering rivers. And all too intimidating mountainsides. It was sublime... which is to say that the beauty was easy to miss through the sense of never making it home. One thing this comment (which you're about to read, I assure you) reminded me of was the many times Vicky and I told each other how great it would be to spend some time hiking up there... one of these days.

But now, the comment in its entirety:

Hi Kenneth,

I enjoyed your travelogue. I am former Executive Director of the Smith River Project, and I now run the Siskiyou Land Conservancy. Both organizations have a lot to do with protecting much of the land you and Vicky drove through in Northwestern California. I would like to send you more information about our work, for even though you got rained on, and couldn't enjoy it much, this territory is some of the most beautiful, biologically diverse and ecologically important in the world.

Please see: for more information.

Yes, we are seeking donations. We rely on donors from outside the area to keep our programs afloat. Our work benefits all Californians, and Americans. Can you help?

Donations may be sent to:

Siskiyou Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 4209
Arcata, CA 95518

We are a non-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible.

Thanks for your good writing, keep it up!

Greg King
President/Program Director
Siskiyou Land Conservancy

Yes, it was a sales pitch - and I have to admit its message, if not its timing, was perfect. After all, looking back I wish we'd taken pictures for both of you readers to see how beautiful it was. Did I mention we saw elk? How cool is that?

Okay, so I don't have any money right now, being unemployed and all, but that doesn't mean one of you readers don't have a job. Looking for that tax write-off with a terrific cause? I don't ask for money much (which may explain my current financial situation) but I think this guy is a part of the values Vicky and I are always trying to espouse.

Take a look at his website.

And listen, Greg, though I cannot offer money (sometimes I cannot remember money), let me know if you ever need any writing done. I owe you one.


Jenn from WA said...

How'd he find you though? Did you drop your name in some tree?

Greg said...

Hi Kenneth,

Many thanks for not only tolerating my pitch, but for seeing its earnestness and actually posting it. It's one of the most uncomfortable elements of my job, asking people for money, but as a great grassroots activist once told me, "If you're not asking people for money, then you're not doing your job." I take that to heart, and occasionally I ask.

Let me know if you are ever up this way again, and I'll show you around.

As for Jenn's question: I use Google alerts to get news on the subject of "Smith River," and now they're posting blog accounts. This was the first time I'd responded to one, pretty much because I liked your writing. (I'm a freelance writer myself, most recently published in The Sun magazine.)

Greg King
President/Program Director
Siskiyou Land Conservancy