Musings of a Past President

by Wynne Brown

Waaaay back in 2008, I was living in Whitetail Canyon when I received a phone call from CRC’s then-President, Dick Zweifel.

“We’d like to invite you to a Chiricahua Regional Council Board meeting,” he said.“Oh, OK, hold on—” I replied. “Let me go get Hedley for you.” After all, my now-ex-husband (or “was-band”) Hedley Bond was the family member with the PhD in biology.

“No, that’s OK, actually you’re the one we’re inviting,” Dick said.

Huh? I thought. What use could I be to CRC – I’m just a scientific illustrator, curriculum designer, writer, editor, and general naturalist? With zero experience in environmental policy?

But I accepted the invitation anyway and attended my first CRC Board meeting.
Four years later, in 2012, I was elected to the position of CRC President and have been honored to fill that role until last month when I happily turned the reins over to Vice President Dirk Sigler.

Oh my, what a lot the organization’s Board has accomplished in those 12 years! Talk about small but mighty … I may have been President, but I’d have accomplished nothing without Eskild, Karen, Dirk, Michele, Narca, Helen, Noel, Josiah, and David, along with past Board members including Alan Craig, Chris Roll, and Dinah Davidson.

Twelve years is a long time, and I won’t even attempt to present a complete list of what we’ve done. But here’s a partial list – with thanks to the people who spearheaded specific items (and apologies if I’ve forgotten to thank anyone):

Upgraded our organizational infrastructure

  • Developed a mission statement
  • Designed a membership structure
  • Set a regular meeting schedule
  • Tracked down and safely archived the Articles of Incorporation
  • Re-claimed the CRC print archives (from the packrats), re-housed them, and returned them to safekeeping in the Chiricahuas where they belong – thank you, Michele Lanan!
  • Set up a separate bank account for the organization – thank you, Eskild Petersen!
  • Set up an online payment and dues renewal system – thank you, Eskild and Karen!
  • Moved the existing Blogspot site to a shiny new website – thank you, Narca Moore and Jonathan Patt!
  • Designed a logo – thank you, Narca!
  • Established an online archival storage system
  • Obtained D&O (Directors and Officers) insurance
  • Updated the Bylaws
  • Added an Advisory Council that now includes the perspective and wisdom of 12 members
  • Designed and maintained the ever-evolving official stationery

Expanded our public presence

  • Initiated and maintained a social media presence – thank you, Karen!
  • Contributed toward the maintenance of Willow Tank for several years – thank you, Alan Craig!
  • Spent many hours and buckets of sweat equity establishing, maintaining, and participating in the Stewardship Program – thank you, Dirk Sigler!
  • Monitored illegal firewood cutting in Paradise – thank you, Doug Ruppel!
  • Added CRC merchandise including bumper stickers, T-shirts, and water bottles – thank you, Karen!
  • Began/continued valuable collaborations with Coronado National Forest, Friends of Cave Creek Canyon, Sky Island Alliance, Northern Jaguar Project, Wild Arizona, Wildland Network, Natural Allies, New Mexico Wild, and Chiricahua Land Trust – thank you to too many people to list! 🙂
  • Met with staff of Senator Mark Kelly and Representative Juan Ciscomani on Senate Bill S.736 regarding the proposal of Chiricahua National Monument becoming a National Park
  • Preserved and framed the “Cave Creek Canyon Protection Act of 1993” – thank you, Dirk!
  • Initiated a historical display at the Cave Creek Canyon Visitors Center – thank you, Karen and Dirk!
  • Designed a 8.5” x 11” trifold full-color brochure – thank you, Gloo Factory!
  • Became the fiscal agent for Peaceful Chiricahua Skies – thank you, Eskild, Karen, and Kim Vacariu!
  • Celebrated and recorded the 30-year history of CRC – thank you, Narca!
  • Helped defeat the proposed marijuana grow facility
  • Began supporting Heritage Days, which continues to the present – thank you, Kim!
  • Opposed the development of the South Fork Day Use Area
  • Worked toward the establishment of the South Fork Zoological-Botanical Area – thank you, Helen Snyder!
  • Endorsed the Continuing Resolution to add Guadalupe Canyon to the list of areas set aside from construction of the border wall – thank you, David Hodges!
  • Monitored and commented on the BLM Travel Management Plan – thank you, David!
  • Helped remove invasive Lehman’s Lovegrass from border wall construction areas – thank you, David!
  • Supported the successful efforts to make the Chiricahuas a Global Important Bird Area – thank you, Helen!
  • Continued working to preserve John Long Canyon via the Chiricahua Public Access Project – thank you, David and Curt Bradley!
  • Expanded CRC’s outreach and visibility with tabling and sponsorships – thank you, everyone!


It has been a tremendous honor to help guide this organization from our previous quiet-but-vital role as a “sleeping dragon” ready to pounce on issues if needed – to our current vibrant and engaged status.

My deep appreciation goes to all the members of both the Board and the Advisory Council – and I look forward to continuing to contribute as a Board member!

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