Donor spotlight: Bob Kibler

by Brent Martin : Director for GA/NC Bartram Trail Society

Dr. Robert F. Kibler, or Bob to his many friends, first became involved with Georgia Forestwatch thirty years ago. It was 1990, and he had just retired as Head of Neurology at Emory University. A lifelong hiker and lover of the outdoors, he was seeking to give something back to the Chattahoochee National Forest after his many years spent there on weekends and vacations. He volunteered with the Atlanta office of The Wilderness Society (TWS), which at the time was beginning the research and ground truthing of what was to become the first edition of Georgia’s Mountain Treasures. Atlanta’s TWS office was also leading a campaign for a Wilderness bill with then north Georgia congressman, Ed Jenkins. Bob worked to distribute surveys across the north Georgia mountains, as Jenkins wanted to know what his constituents thought of the proposed bill. It was around this time that he first met James Sullivan, one of the founders of Georgia

Forestwatch (GAFW), and one of the groups that birthed GAFW, Friends of the Mountains. Bob became very involved with GAFW after meeting with James, Shirl Parson, and other District Leaders at the time, and over the next several years worked with GAFW and TWS to map areas, explore them, and write up descriptions. He became president of GAFW in 1996, after serving on the board, and worked to merge the organization Armuchee Alliance with GAFW, which led to the hiring of GAFW’s first Executive Director, Brent Martin. For the next decade, Bob worked to build GAFW and to assist in GAFW’s leadership role with the forest plan revision that was going on during that period. At 96, Bob is limiting his hiking to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and his mountain home in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Thanks Bob for your many years of commitment
to GAFW!

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