Thursday, May 14, 2015

An Appreciation of Scott Reed, 1928-2015

By Will Whelan, director of  government relations, Lou Lunte, deputy state director and Robyn Miller, director of conservation programs

Scott Reed © Diane Ronayne

Idaho lost a great conservation champion when Scott Reed passed away in Coeur d’Alene earlier this month. Scott and Mary Lou Reed settled in Coeur d’Alene in 1955 after searching the Northwest for the most beautiful place to live.

For the next six decades, Scott used his skills as an organizer and attorney to protect many of North Idaho’s most treasured places. The list is immediately recognizable to Panhandle residents: Tubbs Hill, Sanders Beach, St. Joe River, historic downtown Wallace and Higgins Point. He brilliantly litigated the seminal case that led the Idaho Supreme Court to hold that the public trust doctrine requires the State of Idaho to weigh the public’s interest when it manages our navigable rivers and lakes. Scott was Idaho’s premier – and at times only – environmental lawyer.

Scott also served as a trusted adviser and pro bono counsel to The Nature Conservancy for the better part of two decades, including several years on our Idaho Board of Trustees. He was instrumental in the Conservancy’s acquisition of the Cougar Bay Preserve on Coeur d’Alene’s southern doorstep and helped us secure and manage Silver Creek, Flat Ranch, Ball Creek Ranch and Box Canyon preserves.

We remember Scott as a kind man with razor sharp intellect and a sense of humor that would bring a laugh when we least expected it. We were lucky to have him in our lives.

We offer our condolences to Mary Lou Reed, Scott’s wife of 61 years and remarkable conservation champion in her own right.

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