Remembering Paul Allen, Fighter for the Natural World

Paul G. Allen studies a brain sample with Allen Institute for Brain Science CEO Allan Jones. Via Vulcan.

We are greatly saddened to hear about the passing of Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen. Among his many passions in life, Paul was a stalwart fighter for our natural resources — from Washington’s coastal rainforests to the marine ecosystems he loved.

Over the years, he gave generous gifts tallying millions of dollars to The Nature Conservancy’s work, including protection of Olympic rainforest, tackling Puget Sound’s stormwater and combatting illegal fishing in the Pacific.

The Hoh River, which Paul Allen contributed money to protecting. © Nikolaj Lasbo / TNC

Beyond gifts to The Nature Conservancy, he worked to stop the trafficking of endangered animals — with the precedent-setting passage of Initiative 1401 in 2015 in Washington state — and had a long history of investing in capital projects in Africa that benefit human and environmental health. 

The pangolin is the world’s most trafficked animal, and most are not lucky enough to be saved from poachers and hunters. Photo credit: © Xiao Shibai/Wild Wonders China

Paul Allen leaves indelible marks on our region — through innovation, research, sports, music and the environment — that will live on for a very long time. His legacy gives us inspiration.