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July 6, 2006 KS Wild moves into Lincoln Elementary Environmental advocacy group filling office space By Alan Panebaker Ashland Daily Tidings The Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center is moving its offices into Lincoln Elementary School af

KS Wild moves into Lincoln Elementary

Environmental advocacy group filling office space

The Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center is moving its offices into Lincoln Elementary School after a new conservation center has opened in the old Headwaters building at 84 Fourth Street.

The National Center for Conservation Science and Policy formed as a merger between Headwaters and the Klamath-Siskiyou office of the World Wildlife Fund. KS Wild had its offices in the building on Fourth Street and decided to sign a two year lease at Lincoln Elementary when they left the building.

“We had really outgrown our offices spaces there anyway,” KS Wild Executive Director Stephanie Tidwell said.

The environmental advocacy group began moving in last weekend. Lincoln Elementary shut its doors in 2005, and because of building codes, the school district needed to keep it in use in some manner.

“We had two goals for Lincoln: we wanted to rent out a portion of the school for additional income, and we wanted to reserve it for swing space to bring in students while we’re doing construction,” Juli Di Chiro, Ashland Schools superintendent, said.

KS Wild will join Children’s World Montessori, who also recently signed a lease to rent out a portion of the school, and high school continuation classes (an Ashland High School alternative education program).

The National Center for Conservation Science and Policy combines two local environmental organizations with a goal to integrate sound science with environmental policy, center officials said. Dominick DellaSala, a forest ecologist and the former director of WWF’s Klamath-Siskiyou program, will serve as executive director of the new center. The local office DellaSala directed has been in Ashland since 1998. Headwaters has been located in the region since 1974.

“We’re working on a global problem that requires solutions that are global and local,” DellaSala said. “We have a global crisis on the environment.”

WWF has provided a grant of $130,000 to help fund the National Center for Conservation Science and Policy over a two-year period. The center will use this grant to leverage salmon conservation projects started by WWF’s “Freeways for Fish” campaign. This initiative has worked to restore access to more than 300 miles of salmon habitat in the Rogue River Basin since 2003 and aims to restore an additional 900 miles by 2009, according to center officials.

Bill Eichbaum, managing director and vice president of the World Wildlife Fund, said one of the goals of the new center is to put control in the hands of local scientists and environmental advocates. The Klamath-Siskiyou region was on the map because of its uniquely diverse traits.

“We’re focusing on globally the 200 most important places to protect biodiversity,” Eichbaum said.

Staff writer Alan Panebaker can be reached at 482-3456 x 227 or apanebaker@dailytidings.com.

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