Richard M. Donovan worked in the timber and real estate industry, and, as time passed, has volunteered more and more of his time to preserve the habitat and way of life that he knew growing up in Zavalla and other parts of east Texas. In recent years, his chief focus has been on securing protection for the free-flowing reaches of the Neches River, which are threatened by impoundment at Fastrill and Rockland Reservoirs. Towards that goal, he has twice boated extended lengths of the Neches, writing about the effort in “Paddling the Wild Neches”, and promoting his concerns through work with the non-profits, Friends of the Neches and the Texas Conservation Alliance, and in visits with print and electronic media. In 2006, these efforts paid off in creation of the 25,000-acre Neches River National Wildlife Refuge by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with supporting land acquisition work by the Conservation Fund.
(Spring 2011, Fall 2011)