NAME: Lyn Sadler
JOB TITLE: Executive Director of Mountain Lion Foundation
Capitol Weekly: How did you first become interested in mountain lion
Lyn Sadler: I was running campaigns and someone asked me to run Proposition
117 and I’d never run a proposition so I thought, “cool”, I will give it a
try. When I was doing it I absolutely couldn’t believe people’s ignorance
about the role of not only wildlife but also humans in this, for lack of a
less corny expression, web of life. I grew up on a [cattle ranching] farm
in southwest Missouri and so I had a very strong ethic, but also sense of
our relationship to nature. We didn’t irrigate: if it didn’t rain we went
hungry that year. There was a very strong connection. In my own ignorance,
I didn’t know that the rest of the world didn’t have that . . . I told the
mountain lion foundation I would work for them for one year and help them
get back on their feet, get a fundraising program up and running, etc., not
expecting to stay here, but I love it so I did. They were kind enough to
hire me and at the end of a year I told them it was time for a real
executive director and I would like it to be me.
CW: Are you as involved in outdoor and wilderness activities as your
stereotype would suggest?
LS: I do river rafting especially, but here, I am so busy that a lot of my
outdoor work is limited to gardening. I get out when I can. We do hikes on
weekends, though I haven’t had a chance to do a lot of the wilderness stuff
that I used to do. I do wear Birkenstocks to the office.
CW: What is your proudest achievement since you have been working here?
LS: I serve on a board of directors for several organizations whose
activities impact mountain lions and the organization supports me in doing
that. I don’t know that that model is used anywhere else. It is a
partnership at a very deep level. Three of the organizations I serve have
nominated me for board member of the year. That is my feedback that my
service really matters. One of the organizations I work with [South Coast
Wildlands Project] is closer than any group I could have dreamed of to
actually saving some of the most endangered mountain lion corridors in
southern California. They suffered financially for a while and were having
trouble getting through some developmental issues that I helped them with.
I don’t know if that would have happened as quickly and as well without my
particular expertise and that feels good.
CW: What would the Sacramento community be surprised to learn about you?
LS: I am one of the original five incorporators of the Sacramento Chorale
Society. I’m an alto two. I’ve sung at Carnegie twice. I have sung in
Munich, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and I’m singing in China this year . . .
We are the only chorus in the country that hires an orchestra. Usually the
chorus is an adjunct of an orchestra. When the symphony went bankrupt in
town, that left the chorus with no venue, so we formed our own organization
and hired the orchestra. We are now ten years old. It keeps me sane.
While it is expensive, it is cheaper than a shrink.