Shasta Bioregional Gathering IV (Russian River)

“Bridge to the Future”

September 14-17, 1995 (Thursday thru Sunday)
Logo Art: Shasta Bioregional Gathering IV had its own logo, designed by L.K. [Leslie Kinyon?].  It was a circle with a compass inside, a campfire in the middle, and a quote from Star Hawk.  The quote says, “And so the time [comes when?] all the people of the earth can bring their gifts [to the?] fire and look into each [others faces?] unafraid”.  Within each quarter was written the four themes that were to be explored: Spirit of Bioregionalism, Living Bioregionally, Bioregional Healthcare, A Bioregional Future.  And in the outer circle was written the various groups of those that attended and presented: academics, community leaders, visionaries, futurists, poets, children, artists, biologists, tradespeople, foresters, educators, musicians, activists, and regional planners.


Sonoma County.  Redwood Camp (also known as Berkeley Music Camp), on Austin Creek (the last tributary of the Russian River before its confluence with the ocean).  The camp is set in old growth and secondary growth redwoods.  Located 5 miles north of Highway 116 on Cazadero Highway, near Cazadero.

Town Square:
Public meeting place & information.

  • Registration Table
  • Community Wall
    A set of information boards for announcements, messages, art, poetry, workshop titles & descriptions, group discussion offerings.
  • Mapping Area
    GIS, a mapping project, drawn and/or painted replicas of watersheds.
  • Bioregional Map Directory of Shasta Bioregion
    Locating the place/watershed that people at the Gathering come from, which is a way to connect with others from the bioregion.
  • Exhibition Area/Tables
    Showcases projects and information for maps and artwork.  Arts and craft table, information tables, materials, demonstrations.
  • Soap Box
    A presentation place for music, poetry, orations, and announcements.
  • Sand Box
    A space to create a model of the Shasta Bioregion.  Also, an educational tool for children at the gathering.
  • Coffee House
  • Poetry reading (Jerry Martien)
  • Fire circle

Presenters & Entertainers:

Craig Dremman,

George McKinley,

Sabrina Merlo,

Ralph Metzner,

Brad Olsen,

Pointless Sisters,

David Raitt,

Spiral Band.


Thursday, September 14, 1995


Wine & Cheese with acoustic Ecuadorian music (John & Martha Brakline).

Flamenco Dancing (Martha Stammer-Brankline).

Opening Ceremony:

  • ‘Calling In Of The Spirits’ of the four directions (Inah, Lilith Rogers, David Graves, Elfstone).
  • Standing to form a large, human replica of the Shasta Bioregion to experience the sensation of being connected to other folks from different places. 
  • ‘Water Ceremony’- A small vial of water that attendees brought from one’s nearby creek (or something from which the watershed could be identified) was poured into a large blue vase which was held aside as a centerpiece until the Closing Ceremony.
  • Sufi Dancing (Tui Wilschinsky).
  • Dances for Universal Peace {participatory dance of simple folk steps} (Tui Wilschinsky).  
  • Introductory Announcements (Debbie Hubsmith).

Friday, September 15, 1995

Theme I: The History and Spirit of Bioregionalism [9:00-12:00].

Theme Coordinator (Debbie Hubsmith).

Including: the idea for Gathering, format overview, watershed groups/identities and reports, introductions & subject matter, responses, reminder to volunteer, thinking about the next Gathering.

  • The History of Bioregionalism (Judy Goldhaft, Planet Drum Foundation).
  • The Spirit of Bioregionalism (Malcolm Margolin, Native American historian, & author of ‘The Ohlone Way, News from Native California’).  Malcolm addressed the spirit by drawing upon the stories and experiences of indigenous people of Northern California.  He asked, ‘how was it that Indians communities survived where tribes with great differences in culture lived next to each other?’  He explained, each tribal place was experienced as ‘the center of the world’.  Tribes were tolerant of others outside their centers that weren’t like them, even those they didn’t like, and tribes had a tremendous knowledge about place and knew how things fitted together.   Malcolm was asked ‘how do we begin to develop a bioregional consciousness?’  His answer, in brief, was that ‘individuals can’t do it alone, there is a need for community’.
  • Watershed Reports (Jasper Thelin).
  • The Sonoma Creek Watershed (Angela Nardo-Morgan).
  • Flood as Spiritual Bioregionalism (art display, Jo Hansen).
  • The Lovely Lady (poem, Ed Massey Jr.)
  • How Are We Doing? (Jeff Westergaard).


  • Mini-Council of All Beings Workshop (David Graves, instructor & Doctor of History).

Theme II: Keeping the Shasta Bioregion Healthy [2:00-5:00].

Theme Coordinator (Jennifer Badde-Graves).

  • Issues of the Russian River (Brenda Adelman, Chairperson for the Russian River Watershed Protection Committee).  Brenda spoke about the (un)health of the Russian River Watershed.  She said, the main focus now is cost effectiveness.  Everyone is looking into their pocketbooks.  There are people making decisions about the watershed who don’t care about its health.  She went on to say that the health of the region is impacted by pressures for growth, urbanization, water diversion, timber harvest, gravel mining, discharges of wastewater, and so on.  She would like to believe that healing can take place through education.
  • My Love for Tinkerers (Pavitra Crimmel, Director of Recycletown for Garbage Reincarnation of Santa Rosa).
  • The Health of the Bioregion (Greg Guisti, Forest & Wildlands Ecology Advisor).
  • The Rocks Along the Coast (poem, Jerry Martien).


  • Austin Creek Stream Walk (David Passmore, Fort Ross Environment Restoration.
  • Sustainable Forestry (Jason Grant).
  • Spring-Run Chinook Salmon Workshop (Leon Davies, research associate at UC Davis).
  • Social Violence and Environmental Consciousness (Peter Laughingwolf, Alternatives to Violence Project).
  • The California Penal System: Impact on Citizens & Regions (Steven Deerwalker Krolik, Fine Ethnographic Arts).
  • Geology of the Shasta Bioregion (Richard W. Ely, geologist).

Entertainment: Opening band; Spiral Band (Celtic dancing band) [7:00 – ~9:30].

Saturday, September 16, 1995

Theme III: Practical Ways of Living Bioregionally [9:00-12:00].

Theme Coordinator (Gena VanCamp).

  • Lifelong Gardening (Dorothy Scherer).
  • Community & Watershed Living and Activism (Ron Thelin, San Geronimo Valley Planning Group).  Ron gave guidelines on how to live as a bioregionalist by saying, stay in some place a long time, get to know the place and people.  Like marriage, it takes a lot of work.  We’re a transient society, decide where you want to live and stay there.  Ron cited the need for people to work with government, and to be involved in the planning of their communities.  As an example he mentioned how he wrote a preface for his community plan that introduced language of place, which was acceptable by the county planners, and which became a document, a governing law.
  • Community Economics (Mary Gomes, Sonoma State University).
  • School Projects (Bioregional School) in the Mattole Valley (Seth Zuckerman, Mattole Restoration Council).
  • Eco-psychology (Ralph Metzner, Institute for Integral Studies).

Theme IV: A Bioregional Future [2:00-5:00]
This theme, in a word, was about ‘education’.

  • Bay Area Cities as a part of Shasta Bioregion (Sabrina Merlo, Green City Project).
  • Ecosystem as Classroom (Brad Olsen, Adopt a Watershed).
  • Importance of Native Plants in Our Future (Craig Dremman, Redwood Seed Company).
  • Bioregional Education as Inspiration for Alternative Lifestyles (George McKinley, Sierra Institute).  George asked his audience to push boundaries when we educate instead of reinforcing the status quo.  He mentioned that he takes students to tourist spots to show how our perception of nature is forced upon us, and how he takes students to natural places to experience the diversity of life in a community.
  • The Challenges to the Bioregional Movement (Robert Mendoza and Starhawk).  Robert said the challenges were, the social gap between rich and poor, over reliance upon master thinkers, the need to include people of color, poor people, the homeless in the circle, and issues of democracy, equality and justice.

Entertainment: Pointless Sisters (Motown, acapella women’s groups); David Raitt and the Mendocino Allstars (bluegrass rock).

Sunday, September 17, 1995

Closing Ceremony (Jerry Martien) [9:00 am].

  • [A children’s presentation may have been part of the ceremony, which the organizers had suggested as a possible activity before the gathering.]
  • People stepped out into the circle to say what they learned. 
  • The ‘reins’ were handed over from the current to the next planning group. 
  • The space was then ‘de-sanctified’ with a closing ‘Water Ceremony’ in which the waters that were poured into the blue vase at the Opening Ceremony was ceremoniously poured into Austin Creek, letting the individual offerings of the attendees flow freely from there to the Russian River and from there to the ocean beyond, representing a complete circle from opening to closing.

Breaking Camp

These are small (plenary) groups that discuss Themes and participate in post-presentation workshops. These are creative way to get people together to address issues of common interest. 

Each theme was expanded upon through panel discussions and topic specific workshops.  Workshop Examples included: culture and cultural preservation; sustainable development, agriculture and forestry practices; watershed restoration; waste management; biodiversity/endangered species; living in community; organic gardening/permaculture; simple living; community building and economics; bioregional education, health, organization, poetry; multiculturalism eco-psychology/deep ecology, education and communications, personal health.

The workshops were rife with ‘How-tos’.  How to create a living space for yourself and others.  How to grow your own food.  How to set up an alternative money system.  How to get into your own bioregional business.  How to build community where you live.  How to form a Council of All Beings.


  • Morning meditation,
  • Tai Chi,
  • Nature walks,
  • Day and night river swimming in deep pools,
  • Watershed reports,
  • Group discussions,
  • Special programs (slide shows),
  • Women’s and men’s circles,
  • Children’s program. 


Fee, including food and lodging for four days:

  • $110. 
  • Early registration: (before July 15) $90; (before August 15) $100.
  • Half price (under 14 years old). 
  • Free (children under 5 years old).
  • $10 (walk-in per day). 

Note- On the registration form the costs were listed as: $20 (before July 15), $30 (before August 15), $40 (after August 15) [later pushed back to after September 1]. 


  • $30 (tent-cabins, accommodating 4-6 people).

Locally grown produce from Sonoma County.

  • $40 (eight meals)
  • $5 (per meal).

Participants Attending:

  • Over 160 people.

Organizing Committee Members:

  • Jennifer Badde-Graves (Assistant Food Coordinator),
  • Debra Dadd-Redalia (Program Committee),
  • John Davies (Camp Watch & Parking),
  • Brett DeSchepper (Program Committee),
  • Bob Glotzbach (Program Coordinator, Pre-registration),
  • Judy Goldhaft (Food Coordinator),
  • Debora Hammond (Program Committee),
  • Alon Haver (Program Committee),
  • Debbie Hubsmith (Planning Coordinator and Children’s Program),
  • Leslie Kinyon (Entertainment and Children’s Program),
  • Quail (Registrar, Lodging and Volunteer Coordinator),
  • Brett Schepper (Program Committee),
  • Gena Van Camp (Pre-registration, Registrar, Lodging, Volunteer Coordinator).
  • Peter Berg, Joel Ginsberg, Corinna Kennel, Lucila Orengo, Abba Anerson (Other Contributors).


  • Planet Drum Foundation,
  • Regeneration Resources,
  • Turtle House Institute,
  • Abba Anderson,
  • Ocean Berg,
  • Peter Berg,
  • Shepherd Bliss,
  • John DeMars,
  • Paul Augie Feder,
  • Joel Ginsbert,
  • David Hormel,
  • Freeman House,
  • Todd Jersey,
  • Corinna Kennel,
  • Jean Lindgren,
  • Ann Maurice,
  • Ralph Metzner,
  • Angela Morgan,
  • Lucila Orengo,
  • Sunny,
  • Maggie Weadick.

Supporters and Donors:

  • Aidells Sausage Co.,
  • California Art Supply,
  • Ben and Jerry’s,
  • Craig Dremman (Redwood City Seed Co.),
  • Fantastic Foods,
  • The Farmery-California Certified Organic Farms,
  • Klamath Forest Alliance,
  • Kozlowski Farms,
  • Mama Luna,
  • Michael’s Artist & Drafting Supplies,
  • Native Plant Society,
  • Northtown Books,
  • Oak Hil Farm,
  • Petaluma Poultry Processing,
  • Rainbow Grocery,
  • Rocky The Range Chicken,
  • Semifreddis Bakery,
  • Paul Schaefer (Creative Properties),
  • Spectrum Naturals,
  • Strauss Family Farm,
  • Tierra Vegetables,
  • Traditional Medicinals.

Other organizations that may or may not have provided support:

Britex Fabrics, Benziger Winery, California Gold Dairy Products, Capricorn Coffee, Caravan Pita Bread, Coffee Roastery, Country Christmas Tree Farm, Davis Co-op, Food For Thought, Jeremiah’s Pick, Just Desserts, Kendall Jackson Winery, La Tortilla Factory, Laguna Farms, Lotus Bakery, Martha & Brothers Coffee Co., Odwalla, Our Farm, Preeat a Eyes, Remembered Farm, Safeway, Sharon’s Finest, Sigona’s Sonoma Cheese Factory, Trader Joe’s, Village Bakery, Vista del Lago Farms.

Outreach & Publicity:

  • Planet Drum Pulse & Mailing List.
  • E.I.R. (July-August, 1995 issue; p. 17):

Would you like to help plan?  Your invitation to participate in…Shasta Bioregional Gathering on Austin Creek.  September 14-17.  For information or to register call —

  • Anderson Valley Advertiser (September 6, 1995; p. 7):

Shasta Bioregional Gathering IV on Austin Creek Cazadero Ca. September 14-17, 1995. 

How does bioregionalism affect us collectively and individually at the present moment?  It involves answering gut level questions such as: How should we grow our food? How should we design our communities? How can we preserve our basic resources? How can we live in a sustainable manner that will ensure survivability for all of us now and for future generations? 

Come Join us!!!  You can help in many ways to make the Gathering a success. For more information, to receive an invitation, donate food/materials, or volunteer services, please call: –”

  • The Sonoma County Independent (September 7-13, 1995; Volume 17, Issue 15; Calendar, Events; p. 25):

Bioregional Gathering. Public is invited to weekend of studying Shasta watershed, sharing stories, dreams, songs and environmental concerns, and camping. Children welcome. Meals available.  September 14-16. Cazadero Redwood Camp, Cazadero Hwy. $110, whole event, including food; $10 per day walk-in; $5 per meal. 939-8601.”

Proceedings Report:

Bob Glotzback, of Regeneration Resources, made available a summary of this Gathering- A Bridge to the Future, Proceedings of Shasta Bioregional Gathering IV, September 14-17, 1995. It can be read or downloaded below.


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