We deeply regret the loss of our friend and colleague, Ken Farquharson who died at Victoria General Hospital in Victoria, B.C. on August 8th, 2021, at 86 years of age.

Ken worked right up to his death, trying to solve the last pieces of the Skagit Donut Hole puzzle to ensure the preservation of the Skagit River watershed in B.C. His work will continue with the help of many individuals inspired by Ken since 1969 and environmental organizations that he helped found or supported for decades.

Some of Ken’s recent environmental efforts included support of the protesters in the Fairy Creek and adjacent watersheds who are trying to defend some of the last old-growth forests remaining on Vancouver Island. Only four days before, Ken said that he hoped to go visit the protest sites, although he felt “a little bit old” to get arrested.

As Tom Perry reflects on Ken’s death. “Ken was a very modest and unassuming man with an outsized impact on our lives in British Columbia and Canada through his work to protect areas like Cypress Bowl, the Nitinat Triangle (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve), the Skagit, etc. He co-founded the Save Cypress Bowl Committee, the Sierra Club of B.C., and of course the Run Out Skagit Spoilers (ROSS) Committee which he chaired for fifteen years or longer. Ken’s influence was crucial during his work on the Wilderness Advisory Committee back in the mid-1980’s, which helped to protect the Stein Valley, Kakwa Provincial Park, and other places too numerous for me to recall. This is not to mention his constructive and practical approach to organizing the Outdoor Recreation Council and serving as its first Chair.”

“Some will also be aware that Ken played an early role in helping indigenous people define their traditional interests in the land of the Yukon by consulting to them on the Yukon Land Claim settlements. This gave him early understanding and sympathy for the injustices perpetrated on original inhabitants throughout Canada. I am sure that his views were conditioned by the early respect he developed for Africans living on the land and dealing with colonial administrations in Tanzania and Kenya, where he first grew up.”

“I’m sure that we will best honor Ken’s legacy by re-dedicating ourselves to ongoing individual and group advocacy for environmental conservation, outdoor recreation, the wise use of Earth’s resources, and more social justice for people everywhere, and by continuing to encourage and mentor young people who will carry on work on these never-ending issues.”

We have lost a champion, a gentleman, and a friend. Our thoughts are with Ken’s wife Laura and family.

On behalf of the Commissioners of the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission, thank you, Ken! You will be missed.

You’ll find numerous posts by and about Ken at the SEEC website: https://skagiteec.org/?s=ken+farquharson. If you have ample reading time, google his name online and with us, learn, be amazed and inspired by the efforts and accomplishments of this friend of the land and of so many of us.