By Tom Uniack, Executive Director of Washington Wild
As we enter the final stretch of 2018, I am reminded of the profound legacy that traditions provide to the next generation. From the passing of family recipes to the changing of the leaves, the season of traditions is upon us.
Each day I come to work, I am fueled by a drive to ensure that my 14-year old son and twin 9-year old daughters will have the chance to raise their children on the trails, campgrounds and waterways which are so important to our family’s traditions.
Our state’s wild public lands possess a myriad of traditions, and not unlike our own personal traditions it is our responsibility to ensure that they are protected and intact for future generations to experience. I cannot imagine a Washington without the complex systems of old-growth forests and thriving wild salmon runs which sustain our iconic orcas.
I cannot imagine my three kids and their future children not having the opportunity to experience these treasured Washington traditions.
And yet, these seminal traditions that make our state’s public lands so unique and identifiable are under unrelenting and constant proposed threats. The reality we are facing is scary! We’ve already lost 80% of our old-growth forests, our salmon populations are critically endangered, and our majestic orcas are in decline. We cannot afford to lose much more. Our public lands need us now. Our traditions must be protected.
I ask that you stand tall as a Washington Wild supporter and protector of traditions, both personal and wild. Your support fuels our ability to respond to urgent issues and ward of damage to wilderness and the many wild traditions that could be lost in Washington forever. Because you care, we can protect our precious wild traditions today, tomorrow, and forever.
Tom joined Washington Wild in 2003 after graduating from the Master’s program at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. For 13 years he served as Washington Wild’s Conservation Director and in early 2016 was named Executive Director. His leadership role within a core group of both local and regional Wilderness advocates has significantly advanced the protection and restoration of Washington’s wild land and waters. This notably includes successful passage of the Wild Sky Wilderness Act (2008) and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions Act (2014). Prior to grad school, Tom was with Defenders of Wildlife for seven years in Washington, D.C. where he worked on a range of issues from Arctic wilderness to preserving Florida black bears. Tom and his wife, Stephanie, are the proud parents of son Luke, and twins Charlize and Sierra.