George and Laurene Engler
The George and Laurene Engler Montana Audubon Conservation Fund
was created as a memorial for two very special people. Although they are no longer with us, George and Laurene's legacy of supporting and furthering conservation in Montana will live on through the creation of this permanent endowment, allowing others to give to a cause they both believed in very strongly - sustainable funding to monitor, study and conserve Montana's birds, including preservation, enhancement and restoration of Montana's avian habitats and to promote land use policies and legislation consistent with these conservation goals.
| George and Laurene Engler
George was deeply involved in conservation issues, not only on the local level, but also throughout Montana. As Supervisor of the Lewis and Clark National Forest he successfully resisted unrestrained clear-cutting and helped clear the way for protection of the Rocky Mountain Front. He co-founded the Great Falls Chapter of Audubon -Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon (UMBA) - along with Margaret Adams, a retired school principal. George also founded the Great Falls Conservation Council which has been meeting regularly now since 1983.
George received a number of awards which recognized his dedication to conservation. These included Montana Audubon's Conservationist of the Year and Lifetime Achievement award in 2009. In 1993 he was honored by the Great Falls Conservation Council, for "providing leadership, inspiration and wisdom and his continuing dedication and service to the cause of conservation". The Council also has an annual conservation award named after George. Sigurd Olson, past President of the Wilderness Society and drafter of the Wilderness Act of 1964, accurately describes Dad's own feelings and viewpoint toward conservation - "Only with a deep and inherent feeling for the land can there be dedication in preserving it."
Laurene was also dedicated to supporting the conservation cause. Her support was more behind the scenes, but she was no less enthusiastic about the importance of preserving the land and keeping it accessible to the public for current and future generations. She and her sister, nephew and George once hiked to the Chinese Wall in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and Laurene insisted on hiking this rugged terrain in her Keds tennis shoes. Talk about dedication! She was also chief gourmet chef when the family went camping.
George and Laurene had many friends who are active with the local conservation-minded organizations. It is our hope that these friends and organizations will also want to honor George and Laurene's memory and help to continue their legacy of supporting conservation issues and causes by contributing to this endowment
. The Engler family thanks you in advance for your contributions.
As George once said, "We should count our blessings and give thanks for what we have. I hope we have the wisdom and the will to maintain it for our grandkids."