September 04, 2012

History of Doc - part 4

     Consulting is an open-ended sport.  If you know your stuff, you still have to negotiate contracts where everybody wants to get the most for their money.  People are told to build their reputation by serving the public in some function - plus, when you are not working, you need something productive to occupy the time.  With that, i used some of my time as a volunteer.
     First it was the county solid waste committee.  I lived in a place where residents can dump their trash for free, but services to haul trash had territories determined by fiat committee.  Once you had a franchise, you were the only person allowed to haul trash - being kind to a neighbor and dumping their trash with yours was outlawed.  How silly.  The franchisees wanted a large fee for persons hauling their own trash and the people sorta liked that trash dumping was free for everybody equally.  I was just a voice and a subtle balance.
     Then i found out about Watershed Councils.  In Oregon, the state lottery funds (why can states gamble when people can't lay a bet??)  designated funds to fish passage restoration and water quality.  I became a board member where there was an 18 person consensus for action.  By agreeing to not rebattle the timber wars, we managed to get everybody to agree that fish were enhance by resizing culverts under roads and allowing passage to traditional areas that had been cut off by development.  We accomplish quite a bit.
     I advanced next to the BLM Resource Allocation Committee for distribution of federal rural school funds locally and also sat on a regional council from the department of Agriculture.  None of the government work was paid, but somebody had to be on the committee watching out for the will of the people and i had the time.
     The decade ended and Y2K fizzled and I kept working, consulting for pay when available and doing whatever i could to learn more.  I heard about an educator at the Wildlife Safari, a drive through zoo in Winston, OR that was working on high level science for high school students.  Soon, the Oregon Natural Resources Research Institute was born - Jan 2, 2001.  We did Bug Zone, and Forest Zone and Water Zone and had a blast, running around in nature with kids.

With so much going on, i wasn't focused on my small farm at home, as much as i should have been.  But that's another story.  I started blogging in 2004 - so the rest of the history can be confirmed by reading back posts - but i will continue this story soon.

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