On November 24, 2021, The Nature Trust of BC lost a dear friend and long standing board member, Carmen Purdy. Our first Board chair, Bert Hoffmeister phoned Carmen in 1987 and said he looked forward to seeing him at the next board meeting. Carmen laughed that he was just expected to show up no questions asked – but he did show up. Carmen served 20 years as a director on The Nature Trust Board and then as Director Emeritus from 2012 until his passing.
“While the NTBC has lost the last link to our founding chair, Bert Hoffmeister, bringing an end to our founders’ era, the conservation community has lost a tireless Conservation Champion. An unwavering and committed conservationist, we’ve lost a one-of-a-kind dear friend. As an example of the real difference one human can truly make, Carmen’s steady passionate voice, followed up with action, leaves a magnitude of legacy that will be remembered by The Nature Trust, and by the entire conservation community, for generations to come,” said Emily Griffiths-Hamilton, Chair of The Nature Trust of BC.
Carmen was raised and educated in the West Kootenay. In 1968 he moved to the East Kootenay where he held various management positions in the forest industry until his retirement in 1997.
For decades, Carmen was actively involved in wildlife and land use issues across British Columbia, with a focus on the Kootenay. He could always be counted on to share his opinion with unrivaled intensity and heartfelt passion.
Carmen was the founding President of the Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund. He was particularly proud of his role in the formation of the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund: this fund has contributed millions of dollars to conservation efforts through a surcharge on hunting, fishing, trapping and guide-outfitting licenses. He was a Past President of the BC Wildlife Federation and Past President of the BC Conservation Foundation. In 2013, he was presented the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Throughout his life, Carmen enjoyed the natural world and shared this love with his family, the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts, and his Kootenay community.
Over the past 50 years, The Nature Trust of BC has conserved 500 properties and 178,000 acres. 90% of The Nature Trust’s conservation lands including more than 21,000 acres in the Kootenay were protected during Carmen’s tenure on the board. We are very grateful for his contributions to building and sustaining this natural legacy.
Carmen will be greatly missed by generations of Nature Trust directors and staff.