Mar 16, 2021
California Waterfowl statement on the passing of Stephen D. Bechtel Jr.
California Waterfowl is deeply saddened by the passing on Monday of Stephen D. Bechtel Jr., a dedicated philanthropist and ardent supporter of waterfowl conservation.
"Yesterday, we lost a major part of the California Waterfowl family," said CWA President John Carlson Jr.
"Steve Bechtel was a longtime and very generous supporter of our mission and activities," Carlson said. "He also provided friendship and counsel that helped CWA become a strong and effective voice for waterfowl, wetlands and hunting in California."
Mr. Bechtel's S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation helped fund the 2012 and 2013 purchases of California Waterfowl's first three landholdings: Grizzly Ranch and Denverton in the Suisun Marsh, and Goose Lake in the Tulare Basin.
These properties have become icons of CWA's work: places where the organization maintains habitat for wintering and breeding waterfowl, holds educational activities ranging from K-12 school field trips to hunter education camps, and offers hunts for the general public. It's hard to imagine the organization without them.
Even so, they represent but a fraction of the ways Mr. Bechtel made our world better.
Mr. Bechtel left an enduring legacy in the waterfowl community. He will be deeply missed.