"Friends of Last Chance Canyon" <email@example.com>
Subject: Friend's of Last Chance Canyon Message
Date: Tue Jan 13 05:40:24 2015
It’s been quite a while since I've sent out a message on how things are going with our group and what we do. Today's events gave me a wake up call of sorts, and I’d like to share a few things with you.
First: Bickel Camp is doing really good in my opinion. We've done a lot in the last year or so to help the visitors have a more pleasant and educational experience. The camp still exhibits an authentic depression era mining camp example with the history of Walt Bickel that's readily accessible by the public and well maintained. What we offer the public is unique and a bit of a problem to the BLM who really is not sure how best to handle an obviously popular, well maintained, rich historical site, that is kept running strictly through volunteer support. Sometimes I think the BLM is waiting for us to fold so they can remove the camp – seriously! I have seen this done before by the government. Thoughts like what happened to Walt in 1986 when the BLM set out to remove his cabin is what caused me and a few others (like 2!) to set up Friends of Last Chance Canyon in 2005 – after Larry had to leave in 2004.
Today I attended a Grant Writing class offered by Fresno State College, and I learned a great deal of nonprofit setup, operation and grant writing. I wish I’d had this info 10 years ago! Still, we can make our organization better – and it can’t be done without you. I learned we could partner our group with others, to leverage another group’s reputation while bringing our capabilities to bear, and meeting our goals of preservation, education, and access. There are indeed grants available for what we do, and there are also ways to bring money to the organization without using grants. We could approach well established groups such as Friends of Jawbone, The Upper Mojave Historical Society, and others with ideas to share in Walt’s legacy through stories, books, gold mining / geology tours and experiences, We could approach the Native Americans nearby and maybe have an event at or near the camp – Walt personally helped preserve their heritage and we should make that better known I think. So, these are a few ideas and I’m sure we could come up with many more.
The BLM allows Bickel Camp to stay partly due to there being a support group that maintains it. We recently had an inspection of hazardous waste products, and with used oil being found we cleaned this up, closed off old containers, and cleaned up oil spills in the camp. The BLM regional manager has pointed out to me that for the office to have had the cleanup done would’ve meant thousands to an outside contractor. Money they would spend to have the problem completely removed would be how the office would approach this, and through FLCC being there we were able to do the task. The BLM also thinks of us as being liable for the property there, along with the Bickel family, and thus there’s less exposure to them.
Now more than ever I think our nonprofit must expand and consider its options, beyond the close knit group of volunteers who love to stay there, and tell people about Walt and his stuff. Please think about how to make this group grow and consider working closer with the board in ideas, we’d love to hear some! Your involvement keeps Bickel Camp and those nearby public cabins in Bonanza etc. available for everyone – Let us know too if you’d like to stay for a couple of days as caretaker – we’ll set you up.
Charlie Hattendorf President, Shaun Seaborn VP, Jim Kenney Treasurer
<< Previous: Friends of Last Chance Canyon Urgent Message
| Archive Index |