|September 4, 1998
To Whom It May Concern:
I had the privilege of hearing Mr. Maser address a logging conference in Santa Cruz, California. The audience consisted of a diverse group of individuals representing businesses and organizations whose missions are often in direct opposition. As the meeting began, the first speakers had the effect of arousing the tensions among the groups to a higher level. Chris rose to speak, but first he paused and allowed the room to become quiet. His opening message emphasized the shared human condition. From that point he began to teach all of us about forest systems. His knowledge and personal experience in combination with his voice of reason and truth had a profound impact on many members of that gathering.
In 1997, the Board of Directors of the San Lorenzo Valley Water District appointed an advisory committee to explore the possibilities for the future of a strategic piece of land owned by the Water District. The committee consists of a group of sixteen people representing the San Lorenzo River communities. As with the logging conference, individual members of this committee hold opposing views. Early on in our process, the committee requested the Board of Directors invite Chris to help us think about forest systems and to explore each member's concerns with the hope of creating a vision statement with goals and objectives for implementing it.
Over a two day period, Chris made his experience with diverse groups and knowledge of the forest available to us. The discussions were intense! Chris' leadership helped us create a structure for the discussions. His non-judgmental, objective attitude helped individuals clarify and express their opinions and concerns to the group. His example of fairness helped members listen to opposing views. He helped us create our own explorative process.
The transformation of our committee within those two days was truly amazing. When Chris arrived, we each had the intent to do what we thought best for the land but were constantly stumbling into each other as we tried to voice our positions. After Chris worked with us, we had a process through which we began to see a combined vision for the land. We were able to create a vision statement along with goals and objectives needed to make the vision real. We now work with greater respect for each other and are better able to come to consensus and move forward as stewards of the forest.
I strongly believe that Chris' presence in any group could assure the possibility of clarity of focus and open discussion from the basis of reason and truth.
Linda Ann Yule