IFM and the North Idaho tree farm family have lost some very special landowners over the last year or so. Two of these individuals, Bob Scates and Dean Stevens, just passed away within the last few months. Bob and Dean were a unique breed—dedicated to land stewardship and also active in the political realm of the conservation world.
Bob Scates owned a large Tree Farm near Spirit Lake, Idaho, served in the Idaho State Legislature and retired from a successful dentistry practice in Coeur d’Alene. He was the consummate tree farmer—zealous about growing trees; always busy pruning, thinning and performing other tasks aimed at improving his forest. He also actively defended private landowner interests as a legislator and never hesitated to sing the praises of forest management to anyone who would listen. As recognition for his tremendous accomplishments, in 1986 he was named Idaho Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year.
Dean Stevens managed family forestland on Priest Lake and near Worley, Idaho, where, as a boy, he nurtured a love of the land and saw the value of sound land stewardship. He chose to pursue a career in teaching but enthusiastically instilled the concept of a land management ethic throughout his community. Dean was also an Idaho State Legislator as well as a member of the Bonner County Board of Commissioners—platforms he used to diligently promote natural resource management issues and the best interests of his constituents.
Bob and Dean join other valued members of the forest landowner community who have passed within the last year or so, including Bill Lukens (past president of the Idaho Forest Owner’s Association), Dr. Don Satterland (Professor of Forest Watershed Management, emeritus, Washington State University) and Phil Munn (all around great guy).
We at IFM have had the privilege and honor of working for these remarkable individuals and will always cherish the time spent with them as well as the lessons they’ve taught us.