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Wildlife And Bird Champion Dave Marshall Dies At 85

A lifelong champion for wildlife in Oregon has passed away. Oregon owes several wildlife refuges to him.

Conservationist and wildlife advocate Dave Marshall passed away in November.

As a boy in the 1930’s, Dave Marshall rode his bike around Portland looking for birds. His friend Tom McAllister recalls when they spotted the first house finch seen in the city.

“Dave had the keenest ear imaginable of anybody for bird calls,” says McAllister. 

Marshall  joined the Audubon Society at the age of 12. As an adult he served on its board.

Marshall was instrumental in creating the Basket Slough, Finley and Ankeny wildlife refuges in the Willamette Valley. Marshall told OPB’s Oregon Field Guide that his work often made him unpopular.

“Today I see tremendous public support for the refuge amongst conservationists and birders, which we didn’t have  in the 30’s and the 40’s and the 50’s,” said Marshall.

Marshall helped protect and advocate for the protection of birds at places like the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. Photo Courtesy Dave Marshall.

After 30 years working with US Fish & Wildlife, Marshall spent another 30 years studying and defending birds. He finished an encyclopedic 700-page book, Birds of Oregon, just a few years before his death.

“He knew his wildlife, particularly birds, as well or better than anyone I know of,” says McAllister.

Tom McAllister says his friend never retired and nevers topped doing what he though important for wildlife in Oregon. Dave Marshall died at 85. A memorial service for Marshall will be held at Noon, Saturday, December 10 at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland.

Dave Marshall is featured in this Oregon Field Guide story about his friend and mentor William Finley.