|David Widell, in 2005 with his son Ty. Photo by Fritz Reid.|
With undeterred passion and commitment, without flinching or wavering, David Widell fought to protect the Grasslands Ecological Area in California, a site of International Importance in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. Year after year he helped secure water supplies for nearly one-third of Californiaís Central Valley wetlands, by working with environmentalists, hunters, agricultural water districts, and public agencies. Full water supplies, as mandated by law through the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, were finally realized for the first time in 20 years in this year of his passing.
As Grassland Water Districtís General Manager and Director of Governmental Affairs, David was a key figure not only in the waterfowl conservation community; he also believed in and promoted the value of wetlands in supporting a diversity of wildlife and ecological functions. He supported PRBO and other conservation organizations in our efforts to document and promote that value.
Conservation of the resource was not a job for David, it was not a hobby: it was his life. His passion and determination were infectious, and his love of the Grasslands was not his alone but reflected an entire community of hunters and wetlands conservationists who will carry on his legacy.
PRBO thanks Davidís family, friends, and colleagues for standing at his side. We are beyond fortunate to have had David as an ally in our mission and as an inspiration.