The story of Ecotrust began in 1991, when a group of unlikely allies joined together with a shared purpose of protecting 800,000 acres of the Kitlope Valley — the largest intact coastal temperate rain forest in North America and the ancestral homeland of the Haisla people. Haisla elder Cecil Paul likened the journey to save the Kitlope to one on a “magic canoe” — an expansive vessel that grows stronger and stronger as many people of many places and many cultures climb on board to paddle together toward a common mission.
On December 1, we gave thanks to two of those early paddlers, Gerald and Bill, for their steadfast commitment to Ecotrust.
Gerald Amos is a member of the Haisla First Nation, which for thousands of years has made the Kitamaat River, Gardner Canal, and Kitlope Valley of British Columbia its home.
He served as Chief Councillor for the Haisla Nation from 1980 until 1992, helping lead the Haisla when they negotiated the permanent protection and co-management of the Greater Kitlope Ecosystem and developed a wide range of related research, education, and social programs.
Gerald was a founding board member of Ecotrust and Ecotrust Canada and is a trustee for Skeena Wild. He has served four terms on the Ecotrust board since our founding in 1991.
Bill Hutton is one of the nation’s leading authorities on the tax and financial aspects of conservation transactions and is widely recognized as an expert in nonprofit and tax law.
He serves as counsel to many national conservation organizations and advises dozens of local and regional land trusts. He serves on the faculty of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and is partner at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass in San Francisco.
A graduate of Dartmouth College and the law schools of the University of Michigan and New York University, Bill was a founding board member of Conservation International and has served on the boards of several charitable organizations, including six terms at Ecotrust.