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“Click here if you believe absolutely nothing I’ve said…” suggests Andy Kerr on the homepage of his website. What you get if you click might stun you at first: It’s defiant. It’s direct. And it’s funny.
That’s Andy Kerr.
A self-proclaimed agitator, foot soldier and schmoozer, among other things, Andy became an OLCV donor around 1980 because he wanted to support the work OLCV does to elect pro-environment candidates. And he plans to go on supporting OLCV, even after he's gone from this world.
“Elections matter,” says Andy, “and OLCV serves a critical and irreplaceable role.”
Andy is no stranger to environmental issues in Oregon – or to Oregon itself. A sixth-generation Oregonian born and raised in Creswell, Andy has been a conservation activist since he dropped out of Oregon State University in 1976 and went to work at Oregon Wild (formerly the Oregon Natural Resources Council). He stayed for 20 years.
The Christian Science Monitor once described him as "one of the toughest environmental professionals in the Pacific Northwest." But that tough guy softens when he talks about why he loves Oregon. “Old-growth forests, desert wildlands, free-flowing streams, roadless forests, wild ocean,” he says, adding, “a sometimes-progressive electorate.”
Andy has put time into building that electorate. He remembers helping first-time candidate Ron Wyden win an OLCV endorsement, which helped to legitimize Wyden’s candidacy. But what may have helped him more was the eruption of Mount St. Helens.
“He only had money to buy half-hours on the Sunday before the election,” Andy recalls. Those spots got a lot of play, as families around the state huddled in front of their televisions, watching the minute-by-minute volcanic aftermath unfold. Wyden won. He went on to serve 12 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently serving his second term in the U.S. Senate.
In the last decade, Andy has continued full-force in his environmental dedication, serving, for example, as director of the National Public Lands Grazing Campaign, and as “czar” of the Larch Company, an environmental consulting firm. He has also written two books: Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes, and more recently, Oregon Wild: Endangered Forest Wilderness.
It’s no stretch to say that Andy has dedicated his life to preserving Oregon’s environmental quality. And in keeping with his “money-where-your-mouth-is” approach to political action, he has included OLCV in his planned giving arrangements.
In Andy’s words: “I plan to bequeath whatever I don't use up before I die to conservation organizations… that can engage directly in elections.”
And so, OLCV’s work to preserve Oregon’s unique environmental legacy for generations to come is propelled forward by the legacy one of Oregon’s unique environmentalists. Thank you, Andy!
Interested in naming OLCV as a beneficiary of your will, life insurance policy, or retirement fund? Learn more!
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In my role on the Clackamas County OLCV steering committee, I am presented with new and exciting avenues of personal engagement in environmental conservation and political action.
Kelly Bantle, Clackamas County steering committee member