Wahkiakum Outdoors presentation set for April 29 at Hope Center


April 27, 2023

Naturalist Andrew Emlen spoke to a crowd at the Hope Center as part of Wahkiakum Outdoors lecture series on Saturday. Photo by Diana Zimmerman.

Last Saturday at the Hope Center, nearly 50 people showed up to hear Skamokawa resident and naturalist Andrew Emlen's fascinating presentation on the geology and ecology of the cliffs along the lower Columbia River as part of the Wahkiakum Outdoors program.

This coming Saturday, April 29, at 2 p.m. at the Hope Center, Wahkiakum Outdoors welcomes Dr. Bruce Thompson, a past president of The Wildlife Society, and former director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Thompson, who also worked for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, will talk about the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and its history and facilitate conversations with the audience, which will be encouraged, about current and potential future wildlife challenges, and more.

"He's going to talk about communication issues and public attitudes in general and how it influences wildlife management," Mike Passmore said.

Passmore is the mastermind of the Wahkiakum Outdoors program, which he organizes along with his wife, Elise. They started the program with the support of the Community Center but more recently it has been funded by the Wahkiakum Marine Resources Committee.

There were 21 presentations in 2018 and 2019, but because of the pandemic there have only been nine in the last two years. Speakers have talked about a variety of topics, from razor clams, bee keeping, salmon extinction, the Mt. St. Helens explosion, boating safety, swans, game warden adventures, and more.

"We've had a broad spectrum of speakers and tried to avoid real controversial issues, though there were some that could have been, like the conversation about hoof rot, or salmon issues, or the Lower Snake River dams," Passmore said. "We've done very well and it hasn't been hostile. People have been very supportive."

With over a page of potential speakers on his list there is hope that this program can continue well into the future. In the meantime, Passmore is working to secure more funding, which provides some financial support for speakers as well as mileage reimbursement.

"I want to thank the community for their support and attendance," Passmore said. "It's worthwhile if it looks like there are enough people interested in the presentations. It's been gratifying to the fill the room."


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