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Remembering Tim Lillebo

Posted by Renee Magyar on February 17, 2014

Alongside many in the conservation community, we are deeply saddened by the loss of a great man, friend, and colleague.

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On Saturday, February 8, Tim Lillebo of Oregon Wild passed away while shoveling snow at his place in Tumelo near Bend. Tim worked for Oregon Wild (formerly Oregon Natural Resources Council) since its infancy in 1975, and has had a large influence on how federal forests are managed in eastern Oregon. Having grown up in La Grande and Prairie City, Tim started off his career as a logger, cutting down old growth Ponderosa pines. He soon realized that these trees were falling too quickly and the logging was unsustainable. Tim worked with a loose knit group of people voicing concerns about this practice, which made him a pariah in some communities.

Over the past 10 years, Sustainable Northwest has worked with Tim to advance a collaborative approach to forest restoration on the East side of Oregon. Tim has been instrumental in bringing a voice of moderation in an atmosphere where extremes used to dominate. Tim would approach forest management with science and a passion for restoring ecosystems and providing habitat for a variety of species. Tim built relationships with the wide variety of people involved in eastern Oregon forests and he will be missed by countless people who worked with him. Often seen in his crushed felt hat, Tim was often anxious to get out of a meeting and be outdoors with a cigar, and if appropriate, what he would call, "an adult beverage." The staff at Sustainable Northwest will greatly miss Tim. He was a great colleague and a good friend. Our thoughts are with his family, and closest friends and colleagues.