Remembering Trish Strickland


Patricia Strickland
April 29, 1959 – October 2, 2011


It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the passing of one of our own, Trish Strickland.

Trish came to The Trust for Public Land twelve years ago, a refugee from a big law firm. I had the blind luck of hiring her as a legal assistant for what was then the western region’s legal department. From the very beginning, Trish plunged into the job with energy and verve. She was dedicated, committed, and determined; she performed with great distinction and earned the admiration and respect of all who worked with her.

After eight years in the salt mines of the legal department, Trish sought to begin a new TPL career as a project manager. It was with a great deal of kicking and screaming that I eventually reconciled myself to the notion that Trish would be lost to the legal team. My colleague, Dave Sutton, had the great good fortune to welcome her to his Northern California project team. Trish, of course, proved herself to be an inspired addition to the project ranks and excelled in her new role.

She was no less fierce as a project manager and applied herself wholly to advancing TPL’s conservation goals. Her unrivaled work ethic, negotiation skills, integrity, and passion helped her build an incredible legacy in just a few years: she protected Devil’s Peak and Cold Stream Meadow in the High Sierra and helped reestablish TPL’s presence on California’s North Coast.

It is a cruel stroke of fate—how else to comprehend this?—that Trish was afflicted with cancer. She fought the disease with the same tenacity and courage that she brought to any struggle she chose to pit herself against. Until the very end, she wished that we would not give up on her-just as she refused to give up on herself.

We are bereft. It is a small consolation—for which we are nonetheless grateful—that we were able to convey to Trish before she let go that her life-work will be celebrated with a plaque in her memory at Point Arena. The protection of this beautiful coastal site in Mendocino County represents the culmination of Trish’s conservation work on California’s North Coast.

With the same mighty force of will that she inhabited her life, we imagine her spirit living on and gracing the wild bluffs of the North Coast, a place with special meaning to her-and now to us.

In sorrow for the loss of our dear friend,

Tily Shue
Senior Counsel