Text and photo by EkOngKar Singh Khalsa, AMLT Executive Director

EkOngKar Quiroste

The author at Quiroste Valley Cultural Preserve.

It has been a busy four months since I first began work as Executive Director in October. Since that time, much of my attention and energy has been focused on several very important initiatives for our organization.

Independence: First, we are working to establish the Amah Mutsun Land Trust as an independent organization with sufficient capacity and funding to sustain our mission in the long run. This is a very important goal and I’m happy to report that we have accomplished a lot so far.

Budget: We have developed (and the Board of Directors has approved) a formal AMLT budget for 2017 that is both ambitious and sets reasonable expectations for our growth. This budget ensures a robust program of Native Stewardship, increases executive and administrative capacity and provides strong support for the many AMLT education and research projects underway.

Organizational Systems: In addition to creating a strong financial plan, we are establishing all the banking, insurance, accounting and payroll systems necessary for AMLT to successfully manage its affairs.

Funding Strategy: As part of this year’s plan we are preparing a detailed funding strategy for AMLT. The strategy includes plans for targeted donor campaigns as well as continuation of our efforts to secure strong financial and in-kind support from private foundations and public agencies. Sustainable funding for our programs is essential and we are working hard to make sure those funds are available for this year and the years ahead.

Project Management: One more top priority has been to layout the timeline, project list and resources needed for an exciting year ahead. I am happy to report that, as a result of the hard work of the Board and the AMLT research associates, we have a very full calendar for 2017. We will continue research at Whalen Meadows, Sand Hill Bluff and San Vicente Redwoods, and 2017 includes a very busy year for the AMLT Native Stewardship Corps, our signature program. At Pinnacles National Park, at Quiroste Valley, at Pie Ranch and the UCSC Arboretum there is much work to be done. Many other locations throughout the Tribal territory have been included in the 2017 spring and summer stewardship schedule and we look forward to sharing details of these programs with everyone soon.

The depth and breadth of the work of Amah Mutsun Land Trust is remarkable and getting all our projects organized, funded and executed is a big job! Fortunately we have a remarkable team of research associates, tribal members and a dedicated Board and President who are devoted to our mission. I am very pleased to be part of this team and glad we are well underway.

As we continue to grow and approach our transition to independence, it is important to offer sincere thanks to Sempervirens Fund for its steadfast support and significant contributions to AMLT as our fiscal sponsor. Without the ongoing support of Sempervirens Fund and our many other generous partners, AMLT could not have achieved all that it has.

Your contribution–as a donor, as a volunteer and as vocal supporter for this important work–is essential to AMLT’s success and deeply appreciated. I look forward to seeing you in the warmer weather–outside and enjoying the many gifts we share.


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