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January 7, 2015

In Memoriam

Dear Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust Supporters,

I am deeply saddened to let you know that Robert W. Koons, the Executive Director of the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, died on January 4, 2015.

All who knew Bob will miss his joyful spirit, friendship, caring and innate ability to connect. He held a deep respect for wildlife and wild lands, and he demonstrated compassion and empathy for wildlife, as well as for the people in his life. He truly understood the emotional and personal connections people feel to the land and to the wildlife it harbors. One of his greatest gifts to wildlife and to the Trust was fostering a sense of family and a shared mission among board, staff, landowners, volunteers, and other friends and supporters. The family he created strengthens the Trust, and we know it will continue to grow, becoming an enduring part of Bob's legacy for the wild.

During the more than 10 years that Bob served as Executive Director, he was an extraordinary friend of wildlife and defender of the wild lands they need to survive. With the support of you and many others over the years, he led the expansion of the Trust's network of sanctuaries within the United States to more than 18,000 acres. The Greenwood Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary in Valley Falls, Oregon, is undoubtedly the centerpiece of his habitat protection accomplishments. Crucial to the establishment of this flagship sanctuary—which grew to 3,621 acres via two expansions—were his strategic vision, decisive action and ability to quickly rally supporters like you to the cause of securing additional habitat for wildlife.

During Bob's tenure, the Trust took strong action against poaching, providing several species of robotic decoys to wildlife agencies in numerous states to help them secure convictions against poachers. Together with The Humane Society of the United States, the Trust sponsored rewards to help find and convict poachers. And through the many friends and connections Bob made along the way, he greatly expanded the Trust's collaborations with like-minded individuals and organizations. These alliances enabled the Trust to advance wildlife research, public outreach and habitat restoration.

As the Trust continues forward with its mission of creating permanent sanctuaries, preserving and enhancing natural habitat, and confronting cruelty, Marla Wilson has been appointed as the Trust's Acting Executive Director, in accordance with Bob's recommendation and with the Board's full support. The Trust's other dedicated and valued staff members—Steve Swartz, General Counsel; Jim Reed, Director of Stewardship; Lana Hester, Administrator and Development Manager; Mark Hulme, Northwestern States Stewardship Specialist; and Linda Winter, Administrative Program Coordinator—will continue to be available if you have any questions.

Bob was always deeply grateful for your support of the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust and its important work. All of us associated with the Trust feel the same, and we look forward to working with you on our shared journey toward a more humane and safe world for all wildlife.

Sincerely,

Andrew N. Rowan, Ph.D.
President
Chair of the Board of Directors
Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust

Robert W. Koons, 1946-2015

Robert W. Koons

 

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