News: Blog

Bill Ruckelshaus

The salmon lost a king this week. The world lost a beacon of civility, and a guide to integrity and commitment. And Long Live the Kings lost a leader and a friend.

Bill Ruckelshaus
Bill with LLTK Founder Jim Youngren and former Board Members Jerry Grinstein and Jerry Hermanson. Notice critical piece of fishing gear in Bill’s left hand.

Bill Ruckelshaus was a member of our board of directors from 1996 to 2015. He was a pragmatic optimist, a respecter of science, and supremely skilled at pulling people with disparate points of view together to craft a new approach.

He strongly believed communities should be empowered, and if needed pushed, to work as one to solve their own problems. To save salmon and restore its populations to abundance was something no single group, government agency, or strategy could accomplish. “It’s not enough,” he used to say, “to stand on shore and throw rocks at the ship of state as it passes by.” To him, bringing the salmon home and ensuring they had a home to come to is the work of all of us, together.

We will miss his great good humor, his engagement at board meetings and events, his inspiration, and his support. With Bill aboard, anything and everything was possible.

Our sympathies and condolences go to Jill Ruckelshaus and the family.

Bill Ruckelshaus
Bill with LLTK Board Members Doug Little and Bob Jirsa showing off football signed specifically to Bill by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. A gift from the LLTK Board and staff for Bill’s nearly 20 years of service to the organization. Bill was a lifetime season ticket holder for the Seahawks.

We’ll treasure Bill’s friendship. For the long run.

Prepared by Barbara Cairns, LLTK Executive Director 1997-2010, and Jacques White, current LLTK Executive Director.

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