By Ceal Craig, Eric McKee, Debra King, and Sue Ten Eyck
What began 25 years ago as a small not-for-profit organization formed primarily to publish a quarterly newsletter, has blossomed into a cooperating association and friends group that helps finance environmental education, facility construction, and habitat restoration. John Steiner, former San Francisco Bay NWR Complex Chief Naturalist who was instrumental in launching the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, wrote in a 1997 Tideline article that the Society was create“to help fund the refuge’s expanded public use effort... A public-benefit, nonprofit organization chartered by the State of California in 1987, the Society has spent its first ten years providing vital support to the many refuge programs.”
The Society owes its success over the years to a number of volunteers, who mapped out the organization’s future course and made success possible. Oakland attorney Jed Somit volunteered his time to draw up the initial charter documents and provided the guidance that got the organization started. He served as a volunteer Director for many years.