The Mother of All Impact Reports: 2018 Uplift Report

Joe Whitworth
Joe Whitworth
President
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Results come in many forms – the total pounds of pollutants kept out of a river, a photograph of a rancher who is also a partner, a quote from an ardent supporter who made a planned gift that will help continue our work into the future. This, the mother of all impact reports, has all of that and more. 

When you give to any organization, you deserve to know the gift will be put to use in the most efficient and effective way. The resource we are protecting deserves that. This report is one way The Freshwater Trust proves its commitment to both. 

We hope you enjoy the seventh edition of the Uplift Report, and after you do, that you’ll continue supporting us by making a year-end gift. Thank you for all that you’ve made possible.

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“Come to me with a solution” is a phrase TFT staff hear often. I loathe dwelling on problems. Some of you know the story about my attempt to include one line in my book on the water problem. It read, “There is one. Enough said.”

This cynical sentiment comes from spending years watching the environmental field admire the problem, without implementing solutions that would achieve quantifiable, lasting benefits – and certainly not at a pace and scale needed. Billions have been spent. Incalculable time and energy have been poured in. Yet the needle has failed to move in accordance with that Herculean effort. This hard truth makes for a daunting path, but it spotlights the innovative way TFT fixes rivers.

Gone are the days when we could afford not to know if the actions we take have impacts or what those impacts are.

We cannot move forward without understanding the best places to do work or how much fixing an entire basin will cost. And the problem is too big to ignore or point fingers at the communities who have the greatest chance to make a difference and at those that have been left out of the game altogether.

Quantifiable solutions matter now, and this report is full of them.

Every day, I’m inspired as I watch our staff dedicate themselves to dreaming up and executing avant-garde fixes on the ground and behind the scenes – on whiteboards and computer screens, along riversides and on front porches across the rural West.

TFT Hydrologist Spencer Sawaske with landowner partner Pat Voigt on his ranch in the John Day basin of Eastern Oregon.

In 2018, our solutions yielded 68,000 gallons per minute protected in 48 creeks and 1,400 pieces of large wood placed in basins to improve habitat. We also built several new models to ensure that any restoration or conservation project is prioritized and quantified.

In these next pages, you’ll learn a little about what’s ailing rivers you love and a lot about the holistic, system-changing, practical solutions TFT employed on the ground and behind the scenes last year to yield invaluable results. You’ll discover why what we’re doing looks different and why it matters.

What’s most critical to us however is that you know how your support helps us solve problems tangibly and ambitiously. None of what you’re about to read would be possible without you. So with that, thank you for turning problems to solutions.

October 10, 2019

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