Ralph Regula passed away on July 19. I worked with Ralph for many years while he was Chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.
I worked with several Appropriations Chairs during several decades with the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and Ralph was easily my favorite. He always asked good questions, listened and looked for the best possible outcome. He was sincere and a true gentleman even when the pressures of budget and policy were significant.
In 1995-2003, when I was the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Midwest Regional Director, Ralph was my Congressmen. The pleasure of working with a relaxed person with laser focus on issues that mattered most to his constituents was enjoyable and a great privilege. He was one of the last of that generation of truly great Members of Congress. He worked for the people and their issues rather than for planks of his party.
More recently, Ralph and I worked together on a Dawson company project involving a development near Sacramento. Despite this client having very complex needs, Ralph jumped in with his typically incisive approach. He would examine details and use his vast knowledge of the regulatory process to suggest a constructive path forward. In particular, Ralph always had ideas for the project’s higher education component.
Regardless of the time of day, Ralph was was always available and I could see the smile on his face as we talked on the phone.
Rest in peace, my friend.
Bill Hartwig Senior Advisor
A member of the Dawson team since 2007, Bill formerly served as Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dawson & Associates.