Society News

FNPS mourns the loss of Jack Stites

August 17, 2018

We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Stites after a long battle with cancer.  His love and dedication to the conservation and restoration of natural Florida inspired us all and we will carry this inspiration and his teachings with us always.  Jack worked diligently to the end, burning and restoring the lands of Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve.   We are so grateful for his generosity to FNPS, to Florida, and to everyone he met and worked with. 

Thank you Jack!  

Here we share some remembrances and photos of Jack Stites (1953 - 2018).

A Friend Remembered

By Brian Pelc

Restoration Project Manager

The Nature Conservancy

 

It’s hard to know where to start in listing the huge hole left by the recent death of Jack Stites.  And even the most thorough inventory of his impacts, relationships, ideas…wouldn’t adequately capture his personality. Jack was equal parts modest, capable, smart, kind, doting, patient, driven.  Those that have known him will miss his music and amazing stories.  Partners in the Apalachicola Regional Stewardship Alliance will miss his leadership on the fire line where he was often the face of The Nature Conservancy’s fire team.  Hundreds of thousands of acres, from his days with TNC and before, were burned better because of him.  He brought vision and expertise to groundcover restoration and nearly a thousand new acres are brimming with sandhill creatures because of him.  He was a teacher and brought dozens of professionals and friends into the world of prescribed fire, sandhill restoration and land conservation at his Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve home.  And this was personal work…Jack and his wife Annie were approaching the finish line on their 150-acre sandhill dream home; longleaf and wiregrass were already planted.  It is so bitter to move on without his sage advice and warm company, it is so sweet to know that his legacy will continue in our acres of habitat.  Jack would want us to focus on the latter sentiment and we in ARSA encourage everyone that knew Jack to keep his memory alive in your high standards, creative solutions, dedication despite obstacles.  May he rest in peace, but visit us often. 

 

Jack’s family will determine where to send donations in his honor and I will share those details as they develop.  In the meantime, please feel free to take a minute, hit reply to all, and share a moment or memory you have.

 

 

From left to right in the photo above:  Blackie Bear (the kitty), Jack Stites (the Easter Bunny), and “Sticky” Steve Morrison (the flower child).