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Ron Hellstern - A UPR Tribute

Ron Hellstern sitting by a tree
Parker Hellstern

In January 2020, UPR mourned the loss of Ron Hellstern, an environmentalist, conservationist, scientist, advocate, and long-time Wild About Utah contributor. As we approach Earth Day, we remember Ron and pay tribute to his passion for the environment and his conservation efforts.

In addition to his numerous contributions to Wild About Utah, Ron enjoyed teaching and coaching sports, and he was an avid outdoorsman and scout. His love for the environment began when he was child. He started a science club in his neighborhood, which evnetually led him to USU. After pursuing a degree, Ron worked as a coach and a teacher. He loved Zion's National Park. He also loved traveling, and visited all 50 US states and 50 other countries throughout his life.

Ron's wife Wendy shared a moving quote that was one of his favorites. Please enjoy it as we pay tribute to this special part of UPR's family.

If I Were The Wind

The wind that makes music in November corn is in a hurry. The stalks hum, the loose husks whisk skyward in half-playful swirls, and the wind hurries on.

In the marsh, long windy waves surge across the glassy sloughs, beat against the far willows.  A tree tries to argue, bare limbs waving, but there is no detaining the wind.

On the sandbar there is only wind, and the river sliding seaward. Every wisp of grass is drawing circles on the sand. I wander over the bar to a driftwood log, where I sit and listen to the universal roar, and to the tinkle of wavelets on the shore. The river is lifeless: not a duck, heron, marsh hawk, or gull but has sought refuge from wind.

Out of the clouds I hear a faint bark, as of a faraway god. It is strange how the world cocks its ears at that sound, wondering. Soon it is louder: the honk of geese, invisible, but coming on.

The flock emerges from the low clouds, a tattered banner of birds, dipping and rising, blown up and blown down, blown together and blown apart, but advancing, the wind wrestling lovingly with each winnowing wing. When the flock is a blur in the far sky I hear the last honk, sounding taps for summer.

It is warm behind the driftwood now, for the wind has gone with the geese. So would I ----- if I were the wind.

̶  Aldo Leopold

Here are some of Ron's highlight segments on Wild About Utah:

Keep Utah Clean on Wild About Utah

Journey North

'Silent Spring Revisited' on Wild About Utah

To read the original tribute to Ron published January of 2020,click here.