Posted May 5, 2014
On behalf of the faculty, staff and Board of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center, I am sad to announce the passing this morning of Billy Frank, Jr. No one who has worked to recover salmon, rebuild watersheds or otherwise preserve and enhance what makes our corner of the world special will be surprised to hear that Billy was a founding member of the Ruckelshaus Center’s Advisory Board.
Billy has been a founder and key figure in just about every collaborative effort initiated in the 40 years since the Boldt Decision launched an era of salmon co-management between the State of Washington and the Indian Tribes.
Every day since then, Billy has dedicated himself to providing outstanding leadership for those tribes, as Chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, on the Nisqually River Council, on the Shared Strategy for Salmon Recovery, The Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council, and in so many other venues. But talk to anyone who has known or worked with Billy and what they recall first is not his dedication, commitment and many professional accomplishments, but rather his wisdom, down-to-earth nature, warmth, kindness and uncanny ability to make everyone he met share his sense of optimism and joy of living.
There is no doubt the salmon in the Northwest have lost their best friend.
We’ll all miss him.