Family, by Carrie Eberly

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.
— Richard Bach

Carrie and her daughters

So many times we go to meetings, we smile and nod, we agree or we don’t, but given the chance to participate or collaborate, to work towards a solution to a local and pertinent problem; well, that is where the magic happens. When we open our minds to a different kind of discussion, one that involves putting aside differences (personal, political or otherwise) in order to do meaningful work for the land and systems that it supports, that is where the solutions begin to add up to more than the sum of the parts. The Diablo Trust has been creating opportunities for the public and countless other interest groups to get involved in these kinds of meaningful discussions for decades and in doing so they have created an extended family that is focused on finding solutions despite differences. These familial interactions transcend the normal working relationships between user groups and regulators, ranchers and hunters, or land users and owners, and instead they work as a family for the betterment of all.

In 2010 I started working with Diablo Trust and I’ll admit it was a little daunting to find a meaningful niche in such a long-standing and innovative group. The Bar T Bar and Flying M families provided me the opportunity to explore their lands, learn their business and help where I could in order to find my place. Everyones’ willingness to make the memorable connections, to reach out to the new kid, meant the world to this Idaho country girl over a thousand miles from home and opened my eyes to the role that personal connections and family can play in the collaborative land stewardship.

While working for Diablo Trust, we met, we talked, we frequently disagreed more than we agreed, we discussed countless projects and visited the land and saw the progress. All important pieces to the collaboration puzzle, but most importantly, as we worked towards solutions we treated each other with the respect that one might find in a family. And now, as I move into a more permanent stay-at-home-parent role and leave my post as the Program Manager of the Diablo Trust, I feel honored to have worked with such a diverse and hard working group of individuals. They helped expand my knowledge of the value of family, the land, and the meaning of work.

So, thank you Diablo Trust family for taking joy in my life and giving me the opportunity to take joy in yours.

Carrie Eberly was Program Manager of Diablo Trust from 2010 to 2015.