Richard Latterell – Charitable Gift Annuity

On 120 acres of farmland northwest of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Dick Latterell is tending shagbark hickory saplings like the 1830s specimen that towers over his front porch.

Dick, a biology professor emeritus at West Virginia's Shepherd University, has been a member of our Wildlife Legacy Society since 2003, and active in local conservation issues for many years. Committed to keeping the region's forests, streams, and farmlands in balance with the needs of wildlife, Dick and his late wife, Frances Latterell, granted a conservation easement on their farm to Jefferson County and a local land trust in 2005.

Ask Dick how he came to support Defenders of Wildlife, and his smile widens. "It's the wolves," he says. Describing an evening he and his wife spent in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley, Dick continues.

"Each evening at twilight, Frances and I joined a group of park visitors plus a few rangers at a strategic viewpoint to observe adult members of the famous Druid wolf pack rendezvous on the far south side of the river. The den of the Druid's alpha female and her pups - from which the public was excluded - was located across the road behind the viewing area on the north side of a grassy hill," Dick explains.

"One evening, just as Frances and I were leaving the group, a lone black wolf pup emerged from the hill's far side, trotted across the face of the open grassy slope before us, and disappeared from view as he circled back toward the den."

"That pup was a thing of such striking beauty," recalls Dick, "that neither his image nor the thrill of seeing him so close has ever diminished."

To help ensure a future for America's wolves and other wildlife, Dick has established two charitable gift annuities with Defenders. "Conservation," he says, "has been my life's work, and these annuities are a great way to support conservation while taking care of personal income needs."

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Bequests left to Defenders are crucial to our ability to protect imperiled species and their habitats for generations to come. Have you included Defenders in your will or other estate plans?