Coastal Voices: Why the bird festival is over

Submitted

The time has come for the California Redwoods Bird and Nature Festival, formerly the Aleutian Goose Festival, to say goodbye.

We faced unexpected challenges this year that led to this hard decision:

We lost our festival organizer due to medical issues and a couple of major sponsors had to withdraw their support. The festival has always depended on localdonationsas well as therevenue generated by registrant fees.

Registration had declined with the global economic downturn, which has impacted many other small town festivals causing them to die away. All of these challenges in combination proved too much.

We wish to thank all of you for the support you have given to help us

create the only bird and nature festival ever held in Del Norte

County.In doing so, we were able to showcase our county's world-class

natural beauty and cultural treasures - forthousands of new visitors

from throughout this nation.

Travelers from distant states were lured by our menu of 70 field

trips and workshops that spread over five days. In spite of rain and

cold, these folks returned to the Cultural Center glowing and enthusing

about their walk in old growth redwoods, their Lake Earl kayak trip or

Smith River drift with professional fishing guides.

Klamath River boat trips and off shore ocean excursions were very

popular. Green Diamond spotted owl trips always sold out. Yurok and

Tolowa tribal heritage programs were reported as life-changing.

Our community and the festival earned the reputation among nature

festival-goers of gracious hospitality and warmth. As well we always had

free events for the community during the weekend, including speakers,

vendors, exhibits, rehabilitated wild animals and children's

activities.

The festival was successful for 11 years thanks to a cadre of

100-plus volunteers and trip leaders, big-hearted donors and

participating local businesses, state and federal agencies, too many to

name. We really appreciate each and every one of you!

We'd especially like to recognize for their vision and years of

support: City of Crescent City; Lucky 7 Casino; Crescent City/Del Norte

County Chamber of Commerce; The Daily Triplicate; Redwood National and

State Parks; Sutter Coast Hospital; KPOD/

KCRE Bicoastal Media; KHSU/

KHSR Public Radio; Yurok Tribe, and the Smith River Rancheria.

We'll hold onto all our mailing lists, though. Who knows, maybe

another organization with the capacity to present these types of

excursions throughout the year will yet emerge. Something like the

Yellowstone Institute or Yosemite Institute. Certainly the treasures of

our special place merit this.

With regrets and great memories from the 2011 Festival Steering

Committee.

The committee includes Susan Calla, Rick Hiser, Sandra Jerabek,

Tedd Ward, John and Linda Ging, Susan Strong, Donna Thompson, Joyce

Christian, Mary Beth Sampson, Craig Strong, Alan Barron, Eileen Cooper,

Chris Burdg and Jeff Russell.

13989547
The Del Norte Triplicate
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