Fishtrap’s very active governing board is composed of Wallowa County residents who have collectively contributed thousands of hours of volunteer time to make Fishtrap work, plus a wider Advisory Board that consults constantly and meets occasionally. As a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, Fishtrap welcomes donations large and small to assist funding specific programs, meet matching grant requests, and provide scholarships for deserving individuals.
Nick was born in Corvallis, Oregon in 1952 and left there after graduating from OSU with a degree in Forest Management in 1975. He chose forestry because he could “work outdoors and never have to wear a necktie.”
He married his high school sweetie, Angie, in 1973 and they had three children, Erin, Peter and Bryn. He moved to Joseph in 1989 when he became “upper management” in fire incident coordination with the USFS. Nick retired in 2007 and has been busy ever since. Besides serving on the Fishtrap board—currently as our president—he is also on the Wallowa Healthcare District Board, maintains a 100 year old home in Joseph, a yurt and acreage north of Enterprise, and finds time to brew beer, hike, ski, cut firewood, and read. Nick also recently purchased and is restoring a “mid-life crisis Porche.”
“My job brought us to Wallowa County, but it is the people, the land, Fishtrap and The Music Alliance that have kept us here,” says Nick. “We met Rich and Judy Wandschneider soon after moving, and have been avid supporters ever since. My favorite place to hang out is our yurt on Davis Creek. Relaxing with a good book, looking for animal tracks in the snow, sleeping late and cooking on a wood stove all fall into an easy rhythm without clocks or Internet.”
Nick is a constant reader. “I’ve recently finished Savage Peace by Ann Hagedorn. It was profound in my understanding that the more things change, the more they stay the same,” he says. Also on his reading list are the novels of Tom Robbins “because of the human need to laugh, escape and be silly.”
Asked about his thoughts on Fishtrap’s future, Nick says “I see Fishtrap continuing to mature into a regional center of excellence, promoting writing, thinking and the respectful exchange of ideas and diverse points of view in an increasingly acrimonious world.”
Nick loves: The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Stevie Ray Vaughn, BB King, The Grateful Dead, Kate & Steve, Carolyn Lochert, and Janis Carper. He has yet to wear a necktie.
As a youngster growing up on horseback in Pendleton, Stanlynn discovered the Wallowa Valley during family summer vacations at Wallowa Lake. It was a dream come true when she moved to rural Joseph and launched Hurricane Creek Llama Treks in 1984. For twenty years she spent her summers guiding hikers through the Eagle Cap Wilderness with pack llamas in tow, carrying equipment, hikers’ gear, and delectable back country meals. In 1989 she wrote Packing with Llamas, a comprehensive guide to llama packing, currently in its fourth edition. Through her work in and connections to the llama community, she organized llama treks in the French Alps, shared her llama training experience at various conferences in the U.S. and Germany, and participated in several camelid research trips to the Chilean Patagonia.
Stanlynn welcomed the literary energy that came to Wallowa County with the forming of Fishtrap way back when, and served on the Board of Directors for a number of years. She was active in the capital campaign that expanded Fishtrap’s home to the Coffin House in Enterprise, and after leaving the Governing Board for several years, she stayed active in various Fishtrap programs as a Community Board member.
When she sold her outfitting business in 2004, Stanlynn became an Oregon Licensed Tax Consultant, and also worked part-time at The Bookloft in Enterprise for a few years. Today she works like crazy at Silver Creek Financial Services in Lostine from January to April, less so from May through December, and enjoys her garden and animals on her ranch near Hurricane Creek year round.
In 2011, Stanlynn returned to the Fishtrap Governing Board and notes, “I am so happy to be back on the Board during the transition as our new Executive Director and Program Coordinator take the reins of Fishtrap. We have wonderful core programs, and also new, vibrant ideas for transforming existent programs. I hope to contribute both “institutional memory,” as well as enthusiasm for our mission and what it brings to writers, lovers of writing and people who want to expand their understanding of issues that confront us through the literary medium.”
Susan grew up in Salt Lake City, but spent most summers with relatives on their farms and ranches in southern Idaho, developing at an early age a yearning to live in a small town surrounded by open space. In particular, she loved to work with her grandfather in his shop or out on the farm. He had been a surveyor and loved maps, a love she came to share: “It was a great thrill to me to learn that there were ways to find anyplace.”
After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in English/Communications, raising two daughters, and extended hops through Ontario, La Grande, and Bend, Susan has settled in Wallowa County, a move inspired by writing friends she made through Fishtrap and a series of hikes and back-country ski jaunts in the area: Hurricane Creek, Hell’s Canyon, Seven Devils, Aneroid Basin. (Ask Susan about the old days of klister for spring snow and how to stage a prune pit spitting contest.) She now works as the NE Oregon Outreach Advisor for Energy Trust of Oregon.
One thing she especially enjoys here are moonlight canoe trips on the Lake. And she’s just now outfitting a funky old travel trailer (think 1973) to rest on some friends’ rural property—should be a fine writing retreat—with solar!
Fishtrap brought Susan to Wallowa County and serendipity brought Susan to Fishtrap. Years ago, she saw a short story in the La Grande paper about Fishtrap and felt a strong pull. She spent a week’s grocery money on her first Fishtrap weekend, returned years later, and for the past six or seven years has become a regular at Summer and Winter Fishtrap.
Susan sees the future of Fishtrap as an evolving new stage that welcomes a broader spectrum of writers into our ever-growing circle of people and programs. She is particularly excited about Fishtrap’s new planned giving program which will allow long-time Fishtrap fans to become part of the process of expanding this unique writing legacy.
“Beatles or Rolling Stones?” To that, Susan says, “Give me slow piano jazz or woodwinds—or the sound of rain or even wind.”
Rose Caslar – Secretary
Rose Caslar grew up in Wallowa County and in Fishtrap. It was her two summer workshops with Kim Stafford that led her to Lewis and Clark College, in Portland, OR, where she majored in English.
During her college summers, she worked for the Forest Service and various outfitters in Hell’s Canyon and the Eagle Cap Wilderness. After college, she indulged her dream to see autumn in the Rockies and moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She spent six years as a free-lance riding instructor, horse trainer, sleigh driver, packer, and skier.
During Colorado’s “mud season,” she spent time in Kansas foxhunting, and converted to English riding, also known as “those flat pancake saddles.” In 2009, she returned to Wallowa County to be closer to her family. She now works for Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, a sportsmen’s nonprofit focused on conservation of quality habitat, wild lands, and traditional hunting opportunities. She still rides and trains, specializing in Iberian horses and classical dressage. She is also an avid yogi and teaches Pilates. She is very happy to be part of Fishtrap again, an organization that gave her so much as a teenager.
Kathy was born in 1944 in Portland, and grew up in Beaverton, Oregon. Her Scottish great-grandfather was a pharmacist who built the stone building that is now the tavern in Lostine. After visits to Wallowa County as a child, Kathy left her heart here.
In 1975 she moved with her husband Duncan Hunter and two small children to Kodiak, Alaska and began a career in writing. She worked as a journalist, editor, teacher and advertising salesperson through moves to Fairbanks and finally Palmer, Alaska, where she pioneered a college course called Writing Your Life Story.
In Beaverton, she won a state acting award. In Kodiak she was women’s arm wrestling champ, and numerous awards followed for her writing and editing skills. Her stint as editor of Alaska Today magazine and a self-published book on a historical ship (Tracking the Bear) received both state and national awards from the National Federation of Press Women.
After the move back to her beloved Wallowa Valley in 1997 her husband commented, “I don’t think there will be enough culture for you here.” But there was Fishtrap. And so, still today, Kathy says, “Because of Fishtrap there is more culture in Wallowa County than one person can consume.”
With the encouragement of Fishtrap Education Programs Coordinator Amy Minato, Kathy discovered a new career in storytelling—the field a logical combination of her talents in music, theater, and writing. Amy was the impetus for her first CD, Why the Skunk Stinks, followed by ROWF! And Four Greek Tales. On Amy’s departure, Kathy inherited production of the radio show Fishtrap Storytime, airing weekly Nov-March on local radio station KWVR.
To recharge her batteries, she heads for the wild or serves as a den mom at the Fishtrap Imnaha Writers’ Retreat. It takes the solitude of the wilderness to turn off all those other voices in her head, so she can hear her own. Does she sound crazy? Well, maybe.
Culture, a new career, writing support, great friends. Crazy for all things Fishtrap!
“Almost a local,” Elizabeth was born down the road in La Grande and spent part of her growing-up summers in Wallowa County. During summer break from Oregon State in 1971, she worked here, cleaning the Wallowa Lake Lodge for $1/hour plus meals. College took her to U. of Alaska in Fairbanks, where she jumped out of an airplane “at midnight in day-and-moon light.” After teaching in Portland for awhile, she moved to Wallowa County, met her future husband Brian, had a daughter, Megan, and never looked back. Elizabeth taught English for 25 years in Enterprise and has recently retired.
“Retired” isn’t accurate, however, because she now gives her considerable energies fulltime to Fishtrap. Elizabeth has been a board member off-and-on for 20 years, has been The Big Read coordinator for five years, a past board president, chair of uncountable committees, champion envelope licker, and the one who always raises her hand to volunteer. She got started when Rich W. got her a summer job at Billy Meadows in 1972, and talked about his vision for a writer’s conference.
Elizabeth takes in as much music as possible—Brian plays in two bands—and she never misses the local Bronze, Blues & Brews Festival in August. She hopes to do some traveling soon, “maybe Africa”. Lately she’s been reading literature set in that continent: Cutting for Stone, Kaffir Boy and Little Bee, among others.
Her vision for Fishtrap? – “As a non-writer,” she says, “promoting good reading through our community events is essential. Fishtrap must continue its partnerships with local and regional schools. What else could a retired English teacher say?”
Born in 1955, Pam’s first home was the windswept prairies of eastern N. Dakota. The cold Canadian winds motivated her parents to move the family to Oregon the summer before her high school senior year. While attending University of Oregon, she made a fateful trip in a vintage VW convertible Beetle to see Wallowa County. There she met and married fellow adventure seeker Skip Royes, trading a prospective degree in Animal Science for hiking boots and a man with a red beard. She was whisked away into the rugged wilderness of the Snake River country for four years of living in a tent, horse-packing and exploring. She and Skip finally moved to the Imnaha River canyon to homestead and raise their two children.
Pam has worked as a bartender in Alaska, a sheepherder in Hell’s Canyon, a T.A. in Special Ed., a musician and, currently, as manager of the family business and as a wildlands fire fighter. The Imnaha and Snake River canyons are still her favorite places in the County. “How wild and unpretentious they are; how alive I feel when I’m there,” she says. She loves to spend time with her three grandchildren, gardening, cooking and making music with friends, hammocks, and good books. “ I appreciate a good memoir and anything written by Wendell Berry, who makes me think.”
As a Fishtrap board member, Pam sees it as a place for writers and dreamers, published and unpublished, to come, be inspired, share their stories, improve their craft and connect with others. “I believe that the exchange of ideas we have on the board will continue to inspire us, as Fishtrap encourages future writers and visionaries,” says Pam.
Pam hitchhiked alone across the country at age 16, is writing a memoir, and recently acquired a cherry-red 1974 VW convertible Beetle, a gift from her son and daughter-in-law.
Wallowa Lake became part of Pat’s life at an early age. Her grandparents, who lived in Lewiston, Idaho where she also was born, bought a cabin at the lake when she was six. Growing up she enjoyed horseback riding, hiking, swimming and water skiing at the lake, and roller-skating at the old dance hall in the evenings. At the University of Oregon she met her husband, Tom, who was born in Enterprise with similar historical roots. In 1973 during the “back to the land movement,” she and Tom came back to the County to construct a cabin on part of Tom’s grandfather’s homestead. They lived there for five years, raising two children in the cabin.
They spent twenty-five years in Forest Grove where they both had teaching careers. During that time they adopted an infant son from India. Upon retirement they moved back to Wallowa County.
Today Pat works part time with the County Library delivering to seniors and those that cannot easily access library materials. She finds contentment and renewal working in the garden. Flowers are her favorite but planting vegetables and processing the harvest are also satisfying. She enjoys taking hikes with her dogs up mountain trails and studying voice with a former opera singer, performing with the valley chorale.
Pat came to Fishtrap through the book club that meets there monthly. “Books like Omnivores Dilemma have enlightened my understanding of how we get our food and the importance of healthy eating.” As she looks to this summer’s gathering she is “excited to be the newest member on the board discovering the rich history Fishtrap has established as one of the great treasures of the Wallowas.”
Pat would like to commune with others who grew up on peanut butter, lettuce and mayonnaise sandwiches.