North Olympic Land Trust honors retired attorney for service

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — The North Olympic Land Trust honored retired Port Angeles attorney Gary Colley for his services at the fourth annual conservation breakfast last week.

In 1990, Colley drafted the necessary papers to form the nonprofit land trust based in Port Angeles and convened its initial board of directors, said Tom Sanford, the land trust's executive director.

Colley has donated more than $1 million in legal services to the land trust, according to Orville Campbell, land trust co-founder, former Port Angeles deputy mayor and retired mill manager.

Colley has contributed to the preservation of 78 North Olympic Land Trust projects totaling more than 2,700 acres, Sanford said.

Colley, senior partner in the Platt Irwin Law Firm of Port Angeles, retired at the end of December from there as well as from the land trust.

He was honored at the breakfast Friday.

“I really appreciate the honor and feel really good about the future of the organization,” Colley said Tuesday.

Decades of work

“Gary is renowned for his passion and decades of work to conserve the lands of the North Olympic Peninsula that make this such a wonderful place to live,” Sanford said.

Speakers at the breakfast included Colley, Sanford, Campbell and land trust Conservation Director Michele d'Hemecourt.

Landowners who were helped by Colley wrote thank-you notes in a guestbook.

Josey Paul, a property owner at East Twin River, between Clallam Bay and Crescent Bay near state Highway 112, worked with Colley to get a conservation easement on his property in the 1990s.

“I first met Gary in '93 or '94, when he came bouncing down the pot-holed mud road to my homestead with a van full of pale-faced NOLT board members. Back then, a few of the potholes were deep enough to make a cat swim,” Paul wrote.

Paul said he expressed concern for the van, but Colley pointedly wiped the dirt off the four-wheel-drive logo.

“He said he went looking for challenges. He then proceeded, with uncommon kindness, to advise me on my easement,” he wrote.


Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at

Last modified: March 26. 2013 10:12PM
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