It is with great sorrow we share that on Sunday, Oct. 20, Nickolas (Nick) Randall Saling died in a boating accident near Lummi Island. Nick was born August 5, 1966 in Seattle, Washington, where he came home from the hospital to live aboard the family sailboat. Nick had a wonderful sense of adventure and hiked, climbed, skied and sailed for most of his life.
His family lived in Africa for several years when he was younger and settled on Orcas Island on their sailboat Skol for his elementary and middle school years. Nick put himself through college by fishing and crabbing in Alaska and earned a degree in Biology from Western Washington University. He served in the Peace Corps from 1995-97 and lived in the Philippines. His focus there was developing a marine preserve to protect coral reefs and endangered commercial fishing populations on Camiguin Island.
Nick and his wife came to Bellingham in 1999. His work in conservation included Crew Supervisor for the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC), Director of Stewardship for Whatcom Land Trust, and most recently Program Coordinator for the WCC/Department of Ecology. He also founded and ran Conservation Contracting, a successful business specializing in habitat restoration. His entire professional life was oriented towards environmental stewardship and restoration, and he had a deep connection to the entire Salish ecosystem and the Pacific Northwest lands. He embodied his dedication to conservation both professionally and personally.
Nick is survived by his wife of 18 years, Laurie, his two children Reed and Skye, sister Marni and mother Rita. He is deeply missed by his family, friends and community.