359. Ken Wallace obituary

A team led by Denis Saunders has prepared an obituary for Ken, which has now been published in the journal Pacific Conservation Biology.

I’m really pleased for this tribute to come out. I still find it hard to believe that Ken is no longer with us.

The story in brief: he started as a farm boy in the wheat-sheep belt of Western Australia, spent a couple of years as a professional musician in a  successful rock band, and did university studies in zoology and education, before joining what was then called the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in the Western Australian government. He moved through various positions in the department as it evolved (and its name changed) over the years, but notably, in March 2003, Ken was appointed Manager of the Natural Resources Branch.

As we say in the obituary, “What set Ken apart from most managers of conservation estates was his realisation that it was essential to understand the theoretical as well as the practical framework for conservation of biodiversity. … Not only did he deal with the “bread and butter issues” of conservation management, such as infrastructure, roads, weeds, pests, and firebreaks, but he also developed the theoretical frameworks for conservation, contributing to the scientific underpinning of nature conservation planning and management.”

You can read the full obituary here:

Saunders, D.A., Pannell, D.J. and Bartle, J. (2021). Tribute to Kenneth (Ken) James Wallace: exceptional conservation reserve manager who integrated theory into practical conservation management (9 August 1950–13 October 2021), Pacific Conservation Biology