LWF honors coastal champion, R. King Milling, for decades of leadership

It was a beautiful morning on Tuesday, February 28, to gather at the Woodlands Preserve to honor one of Louisiana’s coastal champions, R. King Milling. Louisiana Wildlife Federation had a live oak planted on a trail just a short walk from the entrance Pavilion at the preserve.

For over 20 years King Milling has used his voice and his influence to help address Louisiana’s land loss crisis. He has seen Louisiana’s coastal program evolve over that time with the formation of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). In fact, King served as a founding chairman of the CPRA board of directors. He was a key leader in moving Louisiana’s concept of an organized coastwide plan into an official Coastal Master Plan – a world class document unlike any other that uses the most up-to-date science to guide the implementation of coastal protection and restoration projects.

King isn’t an engineer or a scientist. He’ll even tell you he’s not an activist. What the retired bank executive is, however, is an engaged citizen and a leader. He has long seen the implications of land loss in Louisiana as not only a serious environmental issue, but also an economic one. As any true leader does, King is always quick to acknowledge others that have made significant contributions to supporting Louisiana’s efforts to build a more sustainable coast.

LWF board member, Bob Stewart, Ph.D., put it succinctly: “He’s my hero.” For many years Dr. Stewart served alongside King on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation – another governing body of which King was a founding chairman. In recognition of King’s contribution to Louisiana’s coastal efforts and those of the CPRA, Dr. Stewart proposed a resolution that was adopted by the LWF Board of Directors at their 2022 annual meeting. The tree dedication is a result of the passage of that resolution.

The ceremony include King Milling and his wife, Anne, along with:
Rebecca Triche, Executive Director, Louisiana Wildlife Federation
Stacy Ortego, Coastal Policy Manager, Louisiana Wildlife Federation
Bob Stewart, Board Member, Louisiana Wildlife Federation
Katie Brasted, Executive Director, Woodlands Conservancy
Jonathan Olson, Board Member, Woodlands Conservancy
Kristi Trail, Executive Director, Pontchartrain Conservancy
Simone Maloz, Campaign Director, Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition
James Karst, Communications Director, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

Our coast needs people like King in addition to the professionals modeling and building projects. It takes all of us to stand up for our coast and ensure its sustainability for future generations. King is certainly one-of-a-kind but we can all take note of his leadership and continue carrying the torch that he has held up for so many years. “May this oak grow tall and strong to support this coastal forest for years to come, just as your leadership has for coastal sustainability,” said Rebecca Triche, LWF executive director.

LWF would like to extend our gratitude to our affiliate, Woodlands Conservancy, for their help in making this event a success. Indeed, this would not have been possible without our friend Katie Brasted’s assistance in getting the live oak into the ground at Woodlands Preserve. Be sure to take some time out to enjoy nature and visit the preserve and stop by King’s oak. You can even bring a book and have a seat at the picnic table to enjoy the beauty of the oak and surrounding forest. We like to think someday, others will do the same under the shade of the oak as it grows over the years.

Woodlands Conservancy was organized in 2001 as a nonprofit land trust organization to preserve forested wetlands and other ecologically or historically significant lands in Louisiana. Woodlands Conservancy owns 840-acres of forested wetlands in the Greater New Orleans area and conduct forest assessment and restoration activities on an ongoing basis. They have been a long-time member of LWF and have received the Conservation Organization of the Year Award for the work. Learn more about their work at https://www.woodlandsconservancy.org/.

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