Watersheds Messenger     Winter 2005     Vol. XII, No. 1     PDF ISSUE


Thanks and a Goodbye to Stew Churchwell

Western Watersheds Project Central Idaho Director and Greenfire Preserve manager Stew Churchwell has resigned his position with WWP, married, and moved to Boise, Idaho to become a co-owner of Restoration Seeding and Conservation, the company that has been instrumental in getting the native plant seedings started at WWP's Greenfire Preserve.

As WWP supporters well know, Stew has been a stalwart of WWP for many years. He had been living at WWP's Greenfire Preserve since August 2000 and has been the most important force for positive change in the management of public lands in central Idaho in the last few decades.

Stew lived for many years and still owns a cabin on remote Sawmill Creek in Custer County in the Morgan Creek watershed north of Challis. His encyclopedic knowledge of the landscape, the wildlife, the creeks and rivers, and the people of central Idaho can never be duplicated. His hunting capability is legendary, and his ability to find and stay close to all forms of wildlife is renowned. One story serves to describe his relationship with the natural world. He was taking his future spouse, Margo, into the wild country west of Morgan Creek to bugle-in bull elk just to enjoy seeing them, when instead of elk arriving on the scene two wolves showed up convinced, no doubt, that they were hearing the dinner bell. They came up within a few dozen yards before determining that the "elk" they sought were just a couple of human friends.

WWP is deeply indebted to Stew for all his work influencing public policy and in starting the restoration process at the Greenfire Preserve. Stew's help will continue with WWP's efforts to bring some level of improved management to the 125,000 acre Morgan Creek grazing allotment in between his hard work to restore native vegetation to gas and oil blighted lands in Wyoming for CSR.

Everyone at WWP regrets that Stew is no longer our central Idaho bulwark, but we all know this is not the last we will hear and see his advocacy for the wildness that is our common heritage.

Thank you and good fortune Stew!

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