May 25, 2021
It strikes me as funny that I find myself writing a blurb about planned giving and thinking about where all my worldly assets will go after I’m gone. This seems like something others do when they are old. Uh oh, am I old? Well, not really, but it is never too soon to do some planning. Particularly when I think about: Who will be a voice and guardian for things I cherish?
Getting affairs in order is something everyone should do, at any age. No matter where you are on the age and financial continuum, life can be temporary and over in an instant. For me, designating and committing funds and assets now to organizations that can carry on my life’s passions, especially in conservation, makes sense.
The thing I’ve treasured most in life is the magical and majestic Mountain West that has been my home for 45 years. The stunning visual surroundings nourishes my senses and offers a lifestyle that I feel privileged to experience. It’s the openness of mountain vistas, the Great Colorado River, the ‘grandscapes’ of Western National Parks, endless recreation, the historic towns nestled in the mountainsides, wildflowers, the indigenous cultures and tribes, the ranchers and Western folk — all of whom comprise the spirit, grit and personality of our region. But the West as we know it is vulnerable and faces an uncertain future from climate change, a growing population, water scarcity, and energy and resource extraction to name a few.
When I think of making sure the West’s legacy and its unique treasures are protected now and for future generations, at the top of my list is Western Resource Advocates (WRA). In one way or another, I have been associated with the organization for decades. WRA is the one group that focuses and protects the Interior West as a whole region: One ecosystem from Montana to Arizona. In my experience, WRA is the ‘get it done’ group because they are steeped in the issues and bring a diverse array of people together to find solutions to the West’s most pressing environmental issues. Whether facilitating a clean energy future and decarbonizing the region, defending public lands, or negotiating innovative water plans for the West, WRA’s team of economists, scientists, and legal and policy experts has consistently demonstrated over the past 30 years that they have the vision, know-how, strategic chops, and perseverance to soundly guide the future of the West.
To me, that is what I am banking on with a planned gift to WRA. The best part is all I need to do is put my intention in my Will and alert WRA to expect a gift someday in the future. For now, I can rest knowing the West is in good hands long after I am gone.