One Donor's Story: Lynn Bahrych
Long-term WEC member Lynn Bahrych shares why she chose to remember WEC in her estate plans.
I was recruited to the environmental cause in grade school by Ranger Rick. Every week, I read his stories in the National Wildlife Federation newsletter that came to our classroom. I was determined to become a Ranger myself, ideally a Park Ranger in Yellowstone National Park or some other grand venue. I never quite made it, but being part of Washington Environmental Council is the next best thing.
I started working seriously as a kind of Deputy Ranger when I moved to Shaw Island in the San Juan Islands in 1982. I joined forces with Dr. Fred Ellis, Sr., one of WEC’s Environmental Heroes, to defend not only Shaw Island from illegal development, but eventually the whole county. As an environmental attorney, I worked with Fred and many others to compel San Juan County to comply with the state’s Growth Management Act. Although we did not get 100% of what we wanted, as a result of our work and the work of many other environmental activists and responsible citizens, our county has some of the cleanest marine waters in the state, as well as productive farms and forestlands.
While we were busy defending the San Juan Islands from runaway
growth, Fred nominated me to the WEC Board. His six-year tenure was ending, so he wanted me to step up to try to fill his shoes. I am quite sure that I never managed to fill his very large shoes, but that is how I got involved with WEC. After my six years on the WEC Board, I was appointed by Governor Gary Locke to represent WEC and the state-wide environmental community on the state’s Conservation Commission. This is a small agency whose mission is to assist private landowners in their efforts to conserve natural resources on their land. I am now serving my second term on the Conservation Commission, which I have found to be enormously satisfying. Getting conservation “on the ground” all across our great and beautiful state is a Ranger Rick kind of thing.
Contributing to WEC is also a Ranger Rick kind of thing. As I have told many of my friends, WEC gets more environmental mileage out of each dollar than any other organization I have worked with, and I have worked with very thrifty ones. The reason for this is the excellent statewide reputation and strategic relationships in Olympia and elsewhere that give WEC’s campaigns star power. It is like the United Way of environmental protection in that it protects all aspects of our environment, not just one slice of it. I have left a specific gift to WEC in my will as well as naming WEC as a residual beneficiary so that a part of anything “leftover” will go to WEC. I know that every hard-earned after-tax dollar will be well used for programs close to my heart.
For more information in including WEC in your estate plans, please
visit the online giving section of our website or contact Allison Schulte at 206.631.2609 or firstname.lastname@example.org.