Mar 16, 2021

California Waterfowl statement on the passing of Stephen D. Bechtel Jr.

Screen shot of magazine page

Mr. Bechtel was inducted into the California Waterfowlers Hall of Fame in 2011. (Click to read PDF.)

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.