When it comes to environmental conservation and the Opal Creek Wilderness, George Atiyeh is a legendary environmentalist. Growing up near the Jawbone Flats, George fought back against the U.S. Forest Service’s plan to log the old growth forest of Opal Creek Wilderness. His efforts changed Oregon’s environmental movement resulting in the timber wars. In 1996, George’s efforts were observed when U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield passed legislation protecting Opal Creek Wilderness.
George Atiyeh attended Progressive Rehabilitation Associates’ Comprehensive Brain Injury Program (formerly the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center). After going through the extensive program, George and his wife reflect on his recovery in a recent episode of OPB’s Think Out Loud.
“George didn’t start remembering things until about a year and a half after the accident when he was already in outpatient therapy”
- Hilary Atiyeh
At age 72, George’s life was taken in the Beachy Creek Fire. Remains were recovered at Atiyeh’s property and confirmed by family on Facebook. The fires devastated the land George fought to protect. George’s efforts led to protecting the 13,500-acre Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area and 21,000-acre Opal Creek Wilderness Area. His daughter said in an interview with OregonLive, donations in his honor can be made to the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center.
Learn more about the our brain injury rehab center and follow the Comprehensive Brain Injury Program. For the full Think Out Loud podcast and article, visit Rebroadcast: George and Hillary Atiyeh