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William Finley

Audubon Society of Portland is devoted to the conservation of Oregon's last remaining wild places.  Our first articles of incorporation written in the early 1900's reflect this sentiment, "to use any and all lawful means for the protection of the wild birds and animals for the State of Oregon and elsewhere."  We have taken this task very seriously over the years. 

Our work officially began with the passage of the Model Bird Law in 1903, which protected native birds from being shot and sold in the marketplace.  Inspired by such a success, our volunteers worked on a plethora of conservation issues throughout Oregon in the early and mid-1900's.  Among other things, in 1925 we sent letters to then-President Calvin Coolidge asking him to set aside Hart Mountain as an antelope refuge.  Members also played a major part in the establishment of national wildlife refuges in Oregon, such as Finley and Bohlman who publicized Three Arch Rocks, Klamath and Malheur to the public and Theodore Roosevelt.  Their work led to the establishment of these refuges and their protection, including paying for the wardens. 

The Eliots

In the early 1960's Audubon Society of Portland led the way to the establishment of William L Finley, Baskett Slough and Ankeny National Wildlife Refuges in the Willamette Valley.  In 1959 we also appeared at legislative hearings that allowed for the passage of the Model Hawk Law.  In a nutshell, we have dedicated thousands of hours to Oregon's biodiversity - from the Northern Spotted Owl, to wild salmon  - we are actively working toward conservation.

Our First 50 Years
by Tom McAllister

Memorable Auduboners by Dave Marshall





1909 - Board of Directors of Oregon Audubon Society files Articles of Incorporation with the State of Oregon.  William L Finley is its first President.

1912 - Mamie Campbell and Dr BA Thaxter organize the state's first Junior Audubon Club

1913 - Mail-order sales of aigrettes and other forbidden plumage prompts Oregon legislature to prohibit wearing of such plumage.

1917 - R Bruce Horsfall, a nationally recognized naturalist and bird artist, paints 33 watercolors of Western Bluebirds, the basis for the book "Bluebirds Seven"

1918 - Congress approves the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

1920 - William L Finley, President of Oregon Audubon Society, organizes the struggle to protect Malheur Lake from drainage for agriculture.

1929 - Oregon Audubon Society purchased 12 acres of property on Cornell Road for $3,750

1930 - The estate of Henry Lewis Pittock donated 18.5 acres to add to the initial 12 acres. 

1938 - Willard Ayres Eliot became the first on-site caretaker. Henrietta Post Eliot, Willard's wife, took in injured and orphaned birds.
             Pond built in honor of Samantha Jane Seaman, great great grandmother of Dave Marshall.

1946 - The first invasive plant work party initiated against Himilayan Blackberry.

1949 - Construction began on Audubon House (Nature Store and Heron Hall)
          Oregon Audubon Society had 335 members.

1963 - Wood Ducks nest in the pond.

1976 - Mike Uhtoff became caretaker. Membership grew to 1,947.

1981 - The Collins Foundation donated $60,000 toward the purchase of Founders Sanctuary. 


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