Blog Interlude: Farewell to Peter
Peter Warshall (pictured second from left) passed away in late April, finally yielding to an incurable cancer, peaceably resting at his southern Arizona mountain home with family members. The world would seem dimmer with his passing but for the wealth of wisdom, knowledge, and goodwill he passed on to family, friends, and followers. Others closer to Peter and more aware of his immense contributions to conservation of Nature and culture will write the eulogies he so richly deserves. However, just as I had to early in TrekEast when my mother, Mary Byrd Davis, succumbed to cancer, I need to suspend this trek for a few moments to pay tribute to one of the most brilliant and creative people I’ve ever had the privilege of befriending.
In late January of this year, although nearly crippled with the pain of cancer, Peter Warshall, with his equally wonderful wife Diana Hadley, hosted TrekWest on the eve of our launch in Mexico. With friends from Naturalia, Diana and Peter and their Northern Jaguar Project team guided me through the first leg of TrekWest. My week in the Northern Jaguar Reserve stands out as a wildlife experience to remember forever. Then again in early March, Diana and Peter gave us trekkers home and good meals when we were in Tucson, less than two months before Peter breathed his last. In the Sky Islands, as in the Sierra Madre foothills, Peter’s biological work guided and informed the trek. As much as any person ever, Peter Warshall brought to the world’s attention the conservation importance and biological richness of the Sky Islands, or the Madrean Archipelago, as he also called the region.
Peter, we bid you a sad but awe-filled and grateful farewell. Diana and other family, we wish you peace and healing. If one can achieve immortality through good deeds on Earth, Peter Warshall will live forever.
Peter’s family will have specific wishes to convey (here on the trail, I gather that the service in Portal for Peter last week was beautiful and that the morning of his passing, a photograph of a six-month-old Jaguar cub was retrieved from the Northern Jaguar Reserve), but readers may trust that their contributions to the Northern Jaguar Project will help to sustain the Jaguar Reserve that Peter and Diana conceived, and will help keep alive that delightful, probing curiosity that burned in Peter and burns still through the Reserve’s creatures and their guardians. Please support Peter’s legacy by donating to the Northern Jaguar Project’s Stewardship and Long-term Management Fund.
For Peter and the Wild,