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I recently had the opportunity of speaking with Mr. Mark Reimers regarding his 50-year Golden Membership with SAF.

He graduated from Colorado State University with his degree in Forestry and Range Management and MS degree from Cornell University in Natural Resource Management. Mark is married. He and his wife, Diane, have three children and six grandchildren.

He had the opportunity for work for the U. S. Forest Service for 37 years, beginning at the National Forest level. The majority of his time was spent in the Washington, D.C. area with promotions to the Director of Legislative Affairs and the Deputy Chief for Program and Legislation.

He has been retired for the last 14 years. He and his wife have had the opportunity to be volunteer coordinators in Kenya. They have worked with the non-profit Waterlines ( http://waterlines.org/ ). Waterlines.org based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, works to provide water in a number of overseas countries. They spend the month of February each year in Kenya working to provide water to rural schools. Waterlines.org provides 75% of the cost and the school provides 25% of the cost for the water, which is obtained by “rainwater harvesting.” Recently major emphasis was placed on the need for sustainable water with the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005. USAID, or US Agency for International Development, will announce a major initiative on May 21, 2013.

Rainwater harvesting involves building a cistern to capture water and a gutter system coupled with a corrugated roof and downspouts to fill the cistern. The work is done by the Kenyans. The cistern is built of Ferrocement, which is reinforced concrete, fourteen feet in diameter, and seven feet tall. The link to forestry is the sustainable water needed to provide enough good drinking water throughout the next dry season. Mark commented, “Just as everyone needs to be involved in sustainable forestry, everyone needs to be involved in sustainable water supplies.”

I learned so much from this interview and the contributions to the world through Mark’s tireless work.

Jeanne Kavinski is the NCSAF Membership Chair

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