“Tim was passionate in his convictions,” Chalfant said. “But he also wasn’t somebody who was ideological about it. He could adjust.”
Chalfant recalled just trying to keep up with Lillebo as they hiked cross-country to many special places.
“Nobody kept up with Tim,” he said. “He wasn’t physically a big guy, but he was a bigger-than-life figure.”
Did all the collaborative talk mean Tim was a man of compromise? That’s not quite how Chang sees it.
“He was incredibly passionate about the forests of Eastern Oregon,” Chang said. “In his mind, the best way to take care of those forests, and the fastest path to get them to be healthy and restored and full of old-growth trees was through collaboration.”
“He knew that the best way to take care of these forests was to have a whole bunch of communities full of stewards, who could picture the old-growth forest that he remembered from his childhood, and who could actively go out and recreate that forest,” Chang said.
“A lot of people get stuck in the mentality with forests of, either leave them alone and let them get better by themselves, or go out and harvest trees – and then you’re a ‘pillager of the forest,” Chang said. “Because of the past management that Tim witnessed throughout his life, these forests were very screwed up, and they needed active, healing hands to be put back on the right” path.
“Because of that vision, Tim, more than any other person in the state of Oregon played a profound role in ending the timber wars in Eastern Oregon,” Chang said. “A lot of people are still fighting the timber wars. He transcended it … He loved the people as much as he loved the forest and the wildlife. That made it possible for Tim to make connections and break down barriers, and transcend lots and lots of baggage.”