From the Center

Scene: A cold day at the Northern Woodlands office. Our heroine, a 40-something woman, sits at her desk, squinting at the computer screen. She’s reviewing printing costs. She looks grumpy. Above her, a giant moth painting by Adelaide Tyrol looms. There are Post-It notes scattered on the carpet, two empty coffee mugs on the desk, and next to the keyboard is a crumpled doodle of an emerald ash borer, complete with a Snidely Whiplash moustache.

The phone rings. The name of a Northern Woodlands board member appears on the caller ID. The woman eyes it warily, and moves her mouse cursor over a desktop photo file entitled “Cute Mammals.”

Me: Hi. How...

Board Member: GREAT NEWS! I have a helpful suggestion!

Me: Uh. OK. What…

Board Member: Due to recent changes in federal tax law, supporters who are 70.5 years or older may be able to avoid increasing their taxable income from required minimum IRA distributions by donating these as qualified charitable distributions! Isn’t that fascinating?!

Me: Sure. What…

Board Member: They’re also called QCDs! You should mention this in your column!

Me: But I’ve already writt…

Board Member: It’s just one of the many ways to support Northern Woodlands’ educational work! And as you know, charitable gifts are especially needed this year!

Me: Needed. Yes. But…

Board Member. I’m glad you agree!

Me: Wait…

Board Member: GREAT NEWS! I just thought of a second helpful suggestion!

Me: You like bears? Cute, fuzzy bears? Go check your email. I’m sending you a photo of a bear waving.

Board Member: Oooooo. Bears?! (Hangs up).

One of the challenges of having an excellent board of directors is that they pay attention and offer advice. Which I more or less heed, although I admit there are times when I try to distract them with wildlife photos.

In 2018, a great deal of the board’s time has been devoted to long-term planning. Tucked into this magazine is a letter that describes some of our progress, and asks for your charitable support. (And yes, as recommended by you-know-who, QCDs are a great way to help.)

And, stepping back – thank you. For supporting Northern Woodlands, and for all the time and effort and heart you’ve put into caring for forests this year. In 2019, let’s continue to grow our community, and welcome more people into the woods.


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