Donald Lipmanson - Bequest

At the crack of dawn for several mornings last August, Don spotted five to six adult wolves from the Junction Butte pack. He was standing breathlessly with several other members during Defenders annual Yellowstone workshop. "The sound of the wolves' howls was especially beautiful," says Don, "and very different from that of coyotes."

Don, who is a member of both our Wildlife Legacy Society and President's Council, joined Defenders in 1984 as a result of our work to protect migratory waterfowl in central California's Kesterson Wildlife Refuge from selenium toxicity.

A criminal defense attorney and long-time resident of rural California, Don was also active in California forest protection struggles throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He served as statewide coordinator for the Forest Forever California initiative, defended protestors against forestry-related felony assault trespass charges, and from 2000-2006 served as a Mendocino County planning commissioner.

"I've included a bequest to Defenders in my plans," says Don, "because its steadfast engagement in protecting wolves, other keystone predators, less charismatic creatures and their critical habitat make me trust Defenders to continue this important struggle for generations to come."

Living on what is perhaps the country's premier goat farm—where goats and chickens are securely fenced to avoid conflicts with numerous coyotes—Don is still advocating for wildlife, most recently working with Defenders Government Relations program on public hearings to reverse the proposed de-listing of gray wolves from federal ESA protections.

"I can't think of another national group that does such a great job handling issues both inside and outside Washington D.C., continues Don. "Some groups are way too eager to compromise when it's not called for. But Defenders doesn't lose its influence by hanging tough; in fact it strengthens its bargaining position for wildlife."

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Let Us Know

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?