A prominent conservation activist and entrepreneur from Seattle was found dead in the Cascade Mountains of Washington after going missing while snowshoeing with friends. The 64-year-old Doug Walker was noted as a “very experienced hiker” and had spent more than 40 years climbing as part of the American Alpine Club. However, on Thursday, Walker went missing while snowshoeing with friends and was found dead on Friday.
The Daily Mail reports that Doug Walker was an avid outdoorsman who spent the better part of 40 years climbing mountains. Walker was a businessman, but also a well-known conservationist whose passion for the outdoors was revealed in everything he did. Walker wanted others to have the same passion as he did for nature. As part of his mission to get people outdoors, Walker was a founding member of the Seattle Parks Foundation, which has a mission of working “with volunteers, donors, and community leaders to build and sustain a thriving, accessible, and connected system of public spaces for all people.”
— Fabrizio Goria (@FGoria) January 1, 2016
In addition to ensuring the people of Seattle had space to enjoy the outdoors, Walker also helped raise funds for the Puget Sound Restoration Fund. The organization’s goal is to restore the Puget Sound marine habitats and water quality.
“Puget Sound Restoration Fund works collaboratively to restore marine habitat, water quality, and native species in Puget Sound through on-the-ground projects. We are committed to a vision of a clean and healthy Sound that is productive, full of life, and capable of sustaining local communities.”
Walker’s commitment to nature didn’t stop in Seattle. Walker also served on the boards of multiple nonprofits, including The Wilderness Society, Conservation Lands Foundation and The Sierra Club Foundation. Though most of the beloved philanthropist’s projects involved conservation, nature and the outdoors, Walker also served in the past as a chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Friends will miss Doug Walker’s energy and passion for preserving the outdoors for everyone to enjoy. https://t.co/4KsDXev6cA
— Essex J. Porter (@EssexKIRO7) January 2, 2016
With so much time spent giving back to the community of Seattle, many different groups and individuals are mourning the loss of a Seattle conservation icon.
The tragedy unfolded on Thursday when Doug Walker went snowshoeing with friends in the Cascade Mountains. The friends who were with Doug on Thursday said that he got separated from the group as they snowshoed through the mountains. When they noticed Doug was no longer in their company, the group went to a nearby trail and waited for him to arrive. However, Doug never showed up and the group went down the mountain to seek help.
A 60-person search crew scoured the mountain for Doug and later found his body on Friday. Doug’s body was found in a “debris field.” The American Alpine Club noted he died in an avalanche. Doug was recalled as a “very experienced hiker” who had hiked the Granite Mountain in the Cascades, where he was found deceased, over 200 times in the past. Following the news of his death, King County Executive Dow Constantine wrote in the Seattle Times that “we’ve lost a great civic leader, conservationist, and philanthropist who had a passion for the outdoors and instilled that same passion in others.”
The American Alpine Club expressed their sadness over the loss as Doug was currently acting as President of the organization.
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of AAC President Doug Walker. Doug was killed in an avalanche on Granite Mountain yesterday.”
[Image via Twitter/Alpine Club]