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Sydney Herbert

by Michael McCloskey
Senior Conservation Policy Advisor
November 10, 2021

Sydney Herbert was a long-time officer of the Federation of Outdoor Clubs. She served as a Vice-President for Oregon. She also served for many years as a member of the Resolutions Committee, chairing it for a time. She attended many FWOC conferences.

She had been active in the Trails Club of Oregon. At an earlier time, she was active with Oregon Wild (under an earlier name). She had also been active in the Audubon Society of Eugene. She was an easterner who fell in love with Oregon’s environment—with its forests, coasts, and deserts. She came to Oregon when her husband took a teaching post at the University of Oregon.

Very bright and knowledgeable, she was dedicated, determined, and assertive. She started the process that led to the identification of remaining old growth. Then in the early 1980s, she enlisted law professors at the university in pursuing appeals of old growth logging plans, that they characterized as “owl reduction plans.” They set in motion the string of legal actions that eventually led to the Spotted Owl protection decisions. When she was in Eugene, she kicked off the drive to protect Eugene’s wetlands, which came about.

She also led the way to get the Drift Creek Wilderness protected in the Coast Range. She served for many years as a board member of a watchdog group for Oregon’s coasts.

She often examined Environmental Impact Statements on projects that affected the areas she loved. She had a sharp eye for problems and filed comments that built an important record.

She took a deep interest in plans that would have put damaging things in Portland’s Forest Park, attending meetings, offering comments, and filing statements. She was an important actor in Northwest environmental protection.

We owe her a debt. We shall miss her.

Established in 1932 for Mutual Service and for the Promotion of the Proper Use, Enjoyment
and Protection of America's Scenic Wilderness and Outdoor Recreation Resources.