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Saying Goodbye to Our Friend Bill Bradbury


Bill Bradbury
MAY 2023

Many of us know Bill Bradbury from his lifetime in public service in Oregon: state Representative, state Senator, Senate President, Secretary of State. He was the innovator of Oregon's vote-by-mail system, a climate warrior, and a champion of watershed restoration, wild salmon, land use, renewable energy, and campaign finance transparency. He was an avid whitewater enthusiast, sailor, pilot, lover of all things wild and beautiful and free. When we lose someone like Bill, the loss is profound and numbing. He was one in a million, an irreplaceable human being, who cared so much for his State of Oregon and all that makes it unique.

I had the pleasure of meeting with Bill several times over the years, beginning with our efforts to protect the Opal Creek Wilderness and protecting Salmon habitats through OWEB. I found his presence to be firm but fair. He often took the time to look at an issue from every angle while making sure that environmental and habitat health were central to the discussion. I was delighted to see him last fall at Shore Acres State Park while attending the In A Landscape benefit event for Wild Rivers Land Trust. His smile, as always, was big, warm and welcoming. We spent a good 45 minutes catching up and talking about old times. We made plans to reconnect after his return from a world-wide trip.

Bill Bradbury's legacy is that of a strong, committed, warm and loving man who gave his all regardless of the task or activity. His daughter Zoe describes her father as "a big, warm, redwood tree of a man at 6'4" with a huge, twinkling, goofy grin, an unmistakable laugh, and a tireless dedication to making positive change in his beloved state, and beyond. He was also the best dad on earth."

It goes without saying that Bill will be missed. Anyone who had the pleasure of spending time with him, will absolutely agree. Thank you for all that you did to promote protection for our wild and scenic places in Oregon, Bill. You will be in our hearts forever and we will think of you when we are out hiking, fishing, or kayaking on the clear, clean waters of this great state.