United States of America

Robert Catalano was born in Illinois and grew up near St. Louis, Mo.  He entered the Army as a 17-year-old and served in Viet Nam.   After working at a variety of jobs including smoke-jumber for the U.S. Forest Service, fireman for an oil well company, and a salesman, he went back to school earning a B.S. in Secondary Education the University of Oregon and an M.S. from Portland State University in Marriage, Family and Rehab Counseling. After a private practice in Salem, Oregon serving mainly teenagers and their families, veterans and victims of sexual abuse, he retired as a result of an Agent Orange-related disease.  He has been a California resident for 19 years and a resident of Butte Creek Canyon for 11 years.  He is past president of the Centerville Recreation and Historical Association. 

As current president of the Honey Run Covered Bridge Association, Robert has led efforts to rebuild the 131-year-old Honey Run Covered Bridge which was destroyed in the November 8, 2018 Camp Fire.  The Covered Bridge had been owned by Butte County which determined it has no funds for the rebuild.  FEMA would only reimburse.  In early 2019, the nonprofit Honey Run Covered Bridge Association stepped in to assume responsibility for Bridge ownership and rebuilding the Bridge with private donations.  

With donations from hundreds of individuals and businesses and grants from the Rotary Clubs of Chico, Durham, and Paradise, the North Valley Community Foundation, the local Foor Foundation, and companies that completed Camp Fire debris removal, and after completion of an arduous permitting process from County, State and Federal agencies, Phase 1 of rebuilding the Covered Bridge is now underway and will be completed within a few weeks.  This includes grading, abutments, foundations, and columns.  If funding allows, Phase 2 will start in 2021 and will include flooring and trusses.  Phase 3, siding and roofing, will follow in 2022, pending funding. 

Robert’s presentation will include a brief history of the Honey Run Covered Bridge, its importance in Butte County and Northern California, and steps underway to rebuild the Bridge.