Two More Tributes for Dave Gaillard

As we carry on the work of our colleague Dave Gaillard, lost in an avalanche on New Year’s Eve, we want to share two last noteworthy tributes because of what they can teach us and because, well, he deserves them.

The first, a resolution of the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission, highlights the value of the kind and respectful way Dave conducted his life and work. We are not always in full agreement with the Commission, but their appreciation of Dave and his approach to conservation reaffirms that we share a commitment to wildlife and can be more effective when we respect one another. Thank you, Commissioners!


David Gaillard, a resident of Bozeman, Montana in body, but a member, both in spirit and presence, of wild places in Montana and a true human friend of all wild things with whom he shared his outdoor home, lost his life tragically in the prime of his years on December 31, 2012.

Whereas: David Gaillard was endowed with special qualities of personal character and natural leadership that caused his fellow Montanans to seek him out as a leader of their choice for their conservation advocacy and was a long-standing member of the conservation community with a kind and generous heart.

Whereas: David Gaillard appeared in front of Montana’s Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Commission on several occasion in support of wolverines, fishers, kit fox, and wolves. David Gaillard was always polite, informative, and considerate even when the Commission did not support his position. This approach to public discourse and public participation was a tribute to his character and set the standard for wildlife advocates in the public arena.

Whereas: David Gaillard was a family man with a loving daughter and wife who live on in his absence. David’s work on behalf of wildlife in Montana will benefit not only the wildlife owned by the people of Montana but will insure that Montana’s wild places continue to be wild for many generations to follow.

Whereas: David Gaillard cared deeply about the public good, effective in his debate, informed in his advocacy, committed in his service, thoughtful in his approach, tolerant in his message, and responsible to the future.

Whereas: One of David Gaillard’s highest priorities was to get people in the conservation community and the other stakeholders in wildlife management issues to work closely, effectively and in a collegial manner.

Whereas: Advocates for wildlife conservation often look deep into their past to find inspiration in the life works of great citizens of high office many generations gone; we the living generation of Montana
wildlife conservationists, hunters and anglers need look no further into our past than the life and works of David Gaillard to find our personal inspiration to a calling greater than ourselves – to preserve a clean and healthy environment for this and future generations.


Therefore, that his memory should serve the future, be it resolved by acclamation of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission acting in regular session on January 19, 2012 in Helena Montana that the life and service of David Gaillard to the people of Montana and to the preservation and enhancement of the fish and wildlife resources of this state be formally honored and preserved in the public record.


Bob Ream, Chairman Dan Vermillion, Vice-Chairman

Shane Colton, Commissioner A. T. Stafne, Commissioner

Ron Moody, Commissioner

[pdf of signed resolution]

Nai’a LeDain of Bozeman, Montana

The second, from an impressive young lady inspired by a wolverine educational event Dave hosted, refreshes us with a reminder of the positive results and broad reach our work can have. Thanks Nai’a!

Monforton School FundraiserAs an enthusiastic supporter of Defenders of Wildlife, it was with sadness that I began 2012 learning of the news of my friend David Gaillard’s death in Cooke City. My name is Nai’a Le Dain and I am in 6th grade at Monforton School in Four Corners, Montana, which is just to the west of Bozeman. After doing my annual Solstice adoption of an endangered species with my mom (this time a mom and baby polar bear), I decided to do a fundraiser at my school to further bring the issues facing endangered species to my schoolmates (click here to see the flyer I made).We successfully completed a fundraiser in honor of David Gaillard and for Defenders of Wildlife last week. Our school and friends brought over $300 to David’s memorial fund, with awesome experiences throughout the process of making the people at Monforton aware of all the endangered species. David Gaillard was also my art teacher Ms. Filloux’s ex-husband and they have an 11-year-old daughter. His death was very hard for many that had been touched by who he was and his amazing passion for his work. He helped me, personally get more information about one of my favorite topics, endangered wildlife – initially starting with our amazing local super creature, the wolverine.The experiences I had were both good and bad. When speaking with one of the Kindergarten classes, for instance they were not really paying attention until I said we would get stuffed animals. They ended up being one of the classes that raised the most money. The hardest part of doing this fundraiser was not having David Gaillard to help me get more information. The fundraiser would have happened in half the time it took for me to organize this if David had been there to help me.

I loved the support everyone gave to me. One of the second grade teachers, Mrs. Henderson, was so supportive and kind. She really made me feel good. Ms. Filloux has been so strong and everyone is very proud of her for staying strong through this very hard time. And Lacy Gray at our local Defenders office organized getting Monforton endangered “wildcat” (our mascot) plushies and adoption certificates which will now live in our school trophy case.

So thank you to everyone who donated money and thank you to everyone who helped. If you have read this I hope you are encouraged to do something for endangered wildlife. Let’s just say, you can do anything as small as just going and enjoying nature to making a fundraiser.

We learned a lot from Dave while he was with us, and we continue to learn from him through those he touched.