[Tweeters] Wayne Weber's passing

Andy Stepniewski steppie at nwinfo.net
Thu Jun 30 20:51:45 PDT 2022

Wayne Weber

30 June, 2022

I am saddened by news of the passing of Wayne Weber. In the winter of 1972,
I met Wayne on a Vancouver Natural History Society survey of raptors of the
area. Our route was Boundary Bay, a low-lying region of fertile farmlands,
estuaries, and salt bay just north of the Washington/British Columbia

Fifty years ago that area hosted a wide diversity and impressive numbers of
raptors, now reduced. Towards the end of our day together, Wayne said to me,
"with your interest and enthusiasm for birds and natural history, you ought
to apply for a park naturalist position with BC Parks." I followed Wayne's
advice, applied and spent two summers in glorious Garibaldi Provincial Park,
and another summer as a park planner investigating park potential in the
Chilcotin region of the province. In 1976, I changed bosses and went to work
for the feds in Jasper National Park.

Wayne and I have kept in touch since those days in the 1970s. On his visits,
I helped swell his Washington and Yakima County lists (for Wayne was the
consummate lister). Ferruginous Hawk was one, which he and I saw from the
Selah Rest Area in the 1980s, a species long gone from that area. Our last
conversation was this winter while Ellen and I were in south Texas. Ever
enthusiastic, Wayne shared his very considerable knowledge of Texas birds
during a lengthy (these always seemed to be so) phone call.

Wayne remains the most important person in determining how my life played
out, including my accident in 1976. I'm reminded of Stephen Jay Gould's
Wonderful Life. In this book, Gould (famed Harvard evolutionary biologist)
sets out to reinterpret the incredible Burgess Shale fossil bed in Yoho
National Park, BC. Gould's central thesis boils down to the notion that "any
replay of the tape of life would lead evolution down a pathway radically
different than the road actually taken." He was first to coin this
"contingency theory."

Thus, paramount in how my life played out was hugely contingent on meeting
Wayne Weber one winter day in 1972. Wayne and I mused this thought over a
number of times.

I will miss Wayne.

Andy Stepniewski

Yakima WA

steppie at nwinfo.net

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