It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Dave Hatch, Chair of the Siletz Tribal Arts and Heritage Society, a member of the Siletz Tribal Council, and a friend and mentor to many in Oregon’s Native community.
Ecotrust was honored with a long friendship and working partnership with Dave. In 2001, he was a finalist for the Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award for his work to return the sea otter (elakha) to the Oregon coast, where it has been extinct for nearly a century.
He was co-founder of the Elakha Alliance, a collaboration between the Oregon Zoo, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, University of Oregon, Portland State University, Oregon State University, Oregon’s coastal tribal governments, and others. The alliance worked to raise public awareness of the potential to restore sea otters to the Oregon coast and the natural biodiversity of the nearshore ecosystem.
In 2007, Dave helped to shepherd an agreement for the Confederated Tribes of Siletz to manage over 3800 acres of forestland for the protection of marbled murrelet habitat.
Dave was a Project Engineer for the City of Portland Traffic Management Department, and previously worked as an Instructor at Oregon State University’s Transportation Research Institute. He received a Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University in 1978.
An active civic leader, Dave was involved in many organizations working to support members of the Native community, including Oregon Community Foundation’s Howard Vollum Council, which worked to increase the numbers of American Indian students entering and succeeding in the fields of science and engineering. He also volunteered with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) on the Salmon Camp Project for American Indian middle school and high school students, and served on Oregon State University’s Board of Visitors, a group dedicated to increasing the diversity of the university.
He is survived by his wife Judy Kloos and his son Peter Hatch. In lieu of flowers, Dave’s family has requested that donations be sent on his behalf to the Siletz Tribal Arts and Heritage Society. If you would like to donate, please visit the STAHS webpage.
A Memorial Service will be Saturday, October 8th, 3:00 PM at the Siletz Community Center in Siletz, OR.