Rod Ash

It’s got to come from the grassroots up. There’s got to be a desire on the part of people in the community to make things work for the sake of the community.

 - Rod Ash (1928-2006)


If one person could represent the spirit of Swan Valley Connections, it would be Rod Ash, a champion of collaboration and communication. Rod’s connection to the Swan goes back to 1960, when he and his wife June began spending summers camping with their family along Glacier Creek in the Mission Mountains.

After retiring here in 1984, Rod was tireless; contributing his time to conservation efforts, politics, and volunteering on local committees. Always a voice of moderation and reason, in 1990 he and a small group of other Swan Valley residents got together to form an ad hoc committee to address the growing strife around natural resource issues. With an emphasis on the idea of community and neighbors just talking things out, this temporary group would continue its work for six years before evolving into Swan Ecosystem Center. Rod would serve on SEC’s board for 11 years until his death in 2006. Ten years later, SEC would merge with Northwest Connections to become Swan Valley Connections. Rod truly believed in the value of bringing people together, which continues to be a key element of our work building connections in the Swan Valley for the benefit of the entire community. 

Without Rod and June, SVC would not exist today. Help us achieve another 20 years of conservation and education success by joining our $20,000 fundraising challenge! Visit for details.