Robert “Bob” Jacobson of Roscommon and his wife Sheila are long time members of MWTHA. Bob is the president of the Michigan Conservation Foundation. Over many years the two organizations have joined forces to deal with many conservation issues. I know of no other person who is more dedicated to Michigan’s natural resources than Bob.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written in May 2015 – Bob passed away on June 14, 2015. He will be missed.
He and Sheila live on a lake in the middle of 18 square miles of private managed forests. If anyone had reason not to care about the public lands and waters of our state it would be them.
In his role with his organization he has truly represented the hunter, fishermen and those who recreate on our public lands and waters. His many actions run from a battle over public lands on an island in Lake Michigan, to establishing Cedar in the upper peninsula to representing the public in management of our state and national forests. He has volunteered thousands of hours and has written numerous detailed critiques of public forest plans. Despite this he has never sought out recognition or credit for his many accomplishments.
Last year the Michigan Outdoor News created an award to recognize a person who was exceptional in protecting and enhancing the natural resources of Michigan. MWTHA submitted Bob’s name and information as a candidate for the award. This past March I was notified by Michigan Outdoor News editor Bill Parker that among the many names submitted Bob has been named Person Of The Year. I was privileged to accompany Mr. Parker as he delivered a Plaque to Bob at his home. The April 10 edition contained a full two pages of photos and an article detailing the award. We extend a sincere Thank You to Mr. Parker.
One day Bob and Sheila were driving on Old US-27 along the Houghton Lake Flats flooding. They stopped to watch an Osprey searching for fish and observed the many species of wildlife seen. Bob remarked to Sheila that was a shame that the general public could not see what they were seeing became Bob’s dream to see that the public gets the opportunity to do just that.
Bob drew up the plans for a viewing platform, gazebo and fishing pier. He obtained approval from the DNR. He raised the necessary funds through a grant end conducting several fund raisers, arranged the labor to build it and spent each day over a summer supervising the construction. I believe that it was completed in 2003. The completed project is beautiful and impressive (see more photos). Despite a photo op that was held of which Bob was not invited he never received an acknowledgment of his outstanding accomplishment.
This past October MWTHA had the opportunity to talk to DNR Deputy Director Bill Moritz. We suggested that perhaps some recognition could be given for his impressive contribution at the flats. Mr. Moritz promised that he would look into it. Several weeks went by and a meeting was held with the details explained. On Earth Day, April 22 the DNR held a dedication ceremony at the viewing platform. A large boulder was placed with a plaque that read “Wildlife Viewing Area Dedicated IN Honor of Robert “Bob” Jacobson Michigan Conservation Foundation President. The ceremony was well attended by both DNR employees and the public despite being a very windy and cold day. Our very sincere Thank You goes out to Mr. Moritz and the DNR staff who made this possible.
A very sincere Thank you goes to Bob and Sheila. Our great grandchildren will reap the benefits of your years of dedication and sacrifice to our public lands and waters, who by the way are fellow turkey hunters.