Ensuring a Personal Legacy of Environmental Activism
Meet Rosie Wigutoff
Rosie Wigutoff owes her passion for the environment to her parents. Her father worked as a foreign fisheries specialist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and her mother, a lawyer, was the first female city councilwoman of Ketchikan, Alaska.
“They actively cultivated environmentalism in their children,” says Rosie. “Even the legal aspect of environmental protection is a family tradition that I keep up through my support of Earthjustice. Because my mother was a lawyer, I have a particular interest in the legal side of the work.” Her support of Earthjustice is driven by the realization that “if we don’t have good quality air and water, then we don’t have anything else.”
Over the years, Rosie has made many small contributions to Earthjustice, and she’s also signed petitions and written letters whenever asked. Her decision to leave a gift for Earthjustice in her will was made so long ago that she can’t even remember when the idea first occurred to her. “I love the partnership between Earthjustice and other environmental organizations. It creates tremendous leverage and it appeals to me to see groups working together to solve a problem.” Her decision to leave a gift has recently been reinforced by what she calls “the onslaught of corporate interests.” She adds, “I felt I wanted to do something very personal to preserve our environment in the face of that threat, and my bequest accomplishes that.”
Although she has a special interest in Central and South America because, as she puts it, “those areas need more help,” Rosie doesn’t feel the need to designate her bequest to any particular part of the world or issue. “I can’t give a lot of money now, but it gives me peace of mind to know that when my time comes, my money will go to an important cause,” she says. “I want Earthjustice to use the funds in a way that has the most impact at that particular time.”