In 2009, Fishtrap established the Werner Writing Residency, a program designed to encourage writing about the wild landscapes of Wallowa County, by offering a fully-funded residency to an established nature writer. Past residents have been Charles Goodrich, Robert Michael Pyle, Ellen Waterston, and Gary Ferguson. The residency is underwritten by Ann Werner, a former wilderness ranger in the Wallowa country.
With the Werner Writing Residency, Fishtrap and Ann Werner aim to bring the wild beauty of Wallowa County to an audience who might never experience it for themselves. This is something that attracted our most recent writing resident, Gary Ferguson, to the residency. He says: “I was thinking of this comment from Lawrence Durrel, he made the claim that Americans are children of the landscape. I worry sometimes that we have lost touch with that notion, but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t full of that power; just knowing that landscapes like this exist is enough, in my mind. It provides a bridge to those who might never set foot in these lands and engenders a consciousness of freedom.”
The Werner Writing Residency ran from 2009-2012. It is currently on hiatus.
In Memoriam: Jane Ellithorp Werner, generous donor to Fishtrap and mother of Fishtrap friend Ann Werner, passed away in September of this year at the age of 92. A graduate of Smith College in 1941, Jane was a member of the Greatest Generation who during WWII filled a “man’s” role as many women did at that time, working for IBM in Washington DC. There she met and later married a young Army lieutenant, Clem Werner, from Iowa. Following the war they raised their three children in Davenport, Iowa.A strong believer in education, Jane worked to improve public schools. In the 1950′s she proposed health education in the 4th grade, a controversial topic at the time. Jane and Clem loved Oregon and vacationed here for over 40 years. They retired to Sanibel Island, FL in 1983 where Jane was a volunteer ranger at Ding Darling NWR for 25 years. Jane loved to be with her family and friends, and golf, bike, bird and shell anywhere she visited.An extraordinarily generous woman, Jane made major contributions to organizations to protect the environment, provide education, and to support women and girls. We are grateful for her legacy here in Oregon through her support of Fishtrap.