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Liz Wise

The White Mountain communities lost a great friend, advocate, and volunteer in October with the passing of Liz Wise. Liz dedicated the last half of her very long and productive life to help solve the problems facing our forest communities and our greater region.

She worked tirelessly, not for acclaim, in fact, she was extremely modest, but rather to leave the region better than she found it. Many people remember her as the “Trail Boss” for TRACKS, building, maintaining, and rerouting the more than 200 miles of the White Mountain Trail system over a 25 year period.

But her contributions were far greater than that. At a casual gathering to announce the formation of the Liz Wise Fund, she was credited as a major force in collaborative forest restoration efforts, such as the Natural Resources Working Group and the White Mountain Stewardship Project, which resulted in projects that helped save the communities of Alpine, Nutrioso, and Eagar during the Wallow Fire. This is but one example of her tireless commitment to our communities and region.

For the one hundred individuals present at the casual gathering to announce the Fund, Sue Sitko’s words were especially poignant:

We continue to live Liz’s legacy and spirit. Every time I see sunlight filtering through ponderosa pines onto the thick grass below, I’ll remember Liz and send a thank-you into the world that I knew her, worked with her, laughed with her, and enjoyed with her the natural world she loved.

What is the Liz Wise Fund?

It is an endowment to support projects that foster respect for and appreciation of the White Mountains and our greater region. It is anticipated that the funding will support environmental conservation projects representative of Liz’s interests.

The fund will be administered through the White Mountain Nature Center, thus any contributions will be 100% tax deductible. Selection of projects to support will be made by a group led by Liz’s son Jon (Punt) Cooley.

If you would like to help with this effort, you can either use the online donation form below or send your check, with the notation “Liz Wise Fund” on the Memo line, to:

WMNC
PO Box 581
Pinetop, Arizona 85935-0581

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