Audubon Arkansas staff and board mourn the passing of Robert Luther Shults, our founding board chairman, on September 11, 2018. Bob Shults, an Arkansan, served on the National Audubon Society board of directors from 1980 to 1986. The chairman of the National Audubon Society at the time was Donal C. O’Brien. Donal and Bob both served on the board of trustees of the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust. At the time, the National Audubon Society was seeking to set up field offices in more states. Donal and Bob facilitated a $450,000 gift from the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust to establish Audubon Arkansas as the 25th state field office in 2000.
In 2001, a twelve-member state board was formed with Bob as interim chairman. When Don Nelms became board chair in 2002, Bob stayed on as a member through 2007. During a National Audubon board meeting held in Arkansas in 2003, the inaugural Audubon Arkansas Robert Shults Environmental Award was established and presented to its namesake.
Bob was a lawyer, a civil rights advocate, an environmentalist, and our friend. He will be missed.