by Tom Putnam

Puget Soundkeeper lost a good friend and founding member recently with the passing of Polly Dyer, a Northwest visionary who was responsible for many of the largest conservation achievements in Washington and in the United States. Much of Washington’s wilderness, including the Olympic National Park and the North Cascades National Park simply would not be the same if it weren’t for Polly Dyer.

Polly was the second president of the Puget Sound Alliance, back in 1986-88 when the board of directors used to meet in her living room in Lake City. She was passionate about saving Puget Sound, which she loved as much as the Olympic National Park that she helped save from logging in the 1950’s.

She helped craft the early course and strategy of PSA with a dedication infused by her love and appreciation for nature. She had an encyclopedic memory for meetings and minutiae and a huge talent for alliance building.

Besides PSA, she was involved in countless organizations, committees, tasks forces, and other efforts, including The Mountaineers, the Washington Wilderness Coalition, the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the Alpine Lakes Conservation Coalition, the Washington chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the King County League of Conservation Voters, and the Washington Environmental Political Action Committee.

She will perhaps be remembered most of all for her cheerfulness and generosity, often in settings that can be contentious and cold-hearted. Polly Dyer inspired countless people to take up the banner of conservation, and we will remember her always for her early help and support for saving Puget Sound.

No doubt Polly Dyer right now is knocking on Heaven’s door, requesting a meeting with the Almighty to discuss wilderness protections for Planet Earth, and won’t take no for an answer.