Edgar Veillon devoted his life to Louisiana’s wildlife, coast
Edgar F. Veillon, a past president and longtime board member of Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF), passed away on Monday, July 31. Edgar was an early supporter of both the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF). He continued to serve on each of their boards of directors until his death.
As a volunteer leader for Louisiana Wildlife Federation, he served as a board member continuously since 1970. He first became active in conservation advocacy after joining Jefferson Rod & Gun Club in 1958. Edgar served as LWF’s president in 1973 and 1974, was active in efforts to preserve the Atchafalaya Basin and the Tensas Basin, and helped establish the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
Rebecca Triche, executive director for Louisiana Wildlife Federation, said, “He often served as a liaison between conservation groups and sought to mentor others in not only conservation advocacy but also in fundraising to ensure our organizations were funded to meet our goals. He was deeply committed to protecting the environment for the future.”
As Louisiana Wildlife Federation’s representative to National Wildlife Federation (NWF) for more than three decades, Edgar was active on national issues, including the defense of wilderness areas within the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, reauthorization of the Clean Air and Water Act and the reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act.
David Muth, director for NWF’s Gulf Restoration Program and previously chief of planning and resource management at Jean Laffite National Park and Preserve, added, “I witnessed Edgar’s dedication for over 30 years, including the 20 years he served on the Delta Region Preservation Commission advising Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, which he was instrumental in helping to establish.”
Edgar joined CRCL’s Board of Directors in 1989. During his 28-year tenure, Edgar was an active and involved board member serving in leadership roles on CRCL’s finance, development and executive committees.
“Edgar was a pioneer in so many ways,” said CRCL founding member Rob Gorman. “He was instrumental in the formation of CRCL and he had a wonderful way of impressing upon everyone the importance of saving our coast. He will truly be missed.”
He was a founding voice to save Lake Pontchartrain as part of the Lake Pontchartrain Task Force in 1981, and continued to serve on the LPBF board for many years.
LPBF Board Chair John Kinabrew noted, “Edgar’s early foundational support and life-long dedication to these organizations and their missions will bear fruit for generations to come.”
Edgar received numerous awards for his volunteer service including: LWF’s Conservationist of the Year – Governor’s Award in 1974 and 1979, NWF’s Conservation Service Citation in 1974, the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association Award Conservation of the Year in 1982, the Gulf Oil Conservation Award – National in 1983, LWF’s Volunteer Conservationist of the Year in 1996, CRCL’s Coastal Stewardship Award in 1999, and CRCL’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
In addition to being a passionate advocate for conservation of Louisiana’s natural resources, Edgar Veillon was an avid sportsman. He enjoyed freshwater and saltwater fishing, and hunting duck, goose, dove and squirrel. He deployed to Korea while serving in the U.S. Marines. A native of New Orleans and a resident of Metairie, Edgar was an insurance and real estate agent for most of his professional life.