Kirk P. Rodgers

Dorchester Star - - Obituaries -

WOOLFORD — Kirk P. Rodgers, Pres­i­dent of Bes­ley & Rodgers, Inc., and for­mer Di­rec­tor of Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment and the En­vi­ron­ment at the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Amer­i­can States, died Thurs­day of com­pli­ca­tions from heart dis­ease. The res­i­dent of Falls Church, VA, and Woolford, MD, was 83.

The son of S. Proc­ter Rodgers and Jean Bes­ley Rodgers was born into a dis­tin­guished Bal­ti­more fam­ily. His grand­fa­ther, Fred W. Bes­ley, was the first state forester of Mary­land.

Mr. Rodgers, who was raised in Bal­ti­more, was a 1950 grad­u­ate of Gil­man School. He earned a Bach­e­lor’s de­gree in ge­og­ra­phy in 1954 from Yale Univer­sity. He con­tin­ued at Yale to earn a Mas­ter’s de­gree in Nat­u­ral Re­sources Man­age­ment and Con­ser­va­tion.

Fol­low­ing jobs with the U.S. For­est Ser­vice, the Bal­ti­more County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, and a three­year tour of duty as a naval air in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer, Mr. Rodgers joined the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Amer­i­can States (OAS) in 1960 and in 1965 was named Chief of the Nat­u­ral Re­sources Unit. In 1971, he be­came the Di­rec­tor of the De­part­ment of Re­gional De­vel­op­ment and En­vi­ron­ment, and in 1996 he was ap­pointed Di­rec­tor of the Unit for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment and En­vi­ron­ment.

He man­aged a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary staff pro­vid­ing tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to coun­tries in Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean in plan­ning in­te­grated de­vel­op­ment. Mr. Rodgers has been hon­ored for his work on water re­sources man­age­ment in the West­ern Hemi­sphere, es­pe­cially for his role in the cre­ation of the In­ter-Amer­i­can Water Re­sources Net­work.

His ca­reer fo­cused on the en­vi­ron­ment and in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment. He worked with the United Na­tions to pre­pare for the first World En­vi­ron­ment Con­fer­ence in 1972, and he was in­volved ex­ten­sively in prepa­ra­tions for the United Na­tions Con­fer­ence on En­vi­ron­ment and De­vel­op­ment in 1992. He re­tired from the OAS in 1998 and con­tin­ued for sev­eral years as a con­sul­tant to in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the Com­mis­sion of En­vi­ron­men­tal Co­op­er­a­tion of the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment (NAFTA).

Mr. Rodgers was an avid out­doors­man and man­aged nearly 8000 acres of pine for­est and wet­lands on the Eastern Shore of Mary­land and in Tide­wa­ter, Virginia. As pres­i­dent of his fam­ily’s tim­ber cor­po­ra­tion, which is the largest fam­ily-owned forestry busi­ness in Mary­land, he of­ten spoke lo­cally and na­tion­ally about sus­tain­able for­est man­age­ment.

Mr. Rodgers served as Pres­i­dent of the Mary­land Forests As­so­ci­a­tion and Pres­i­dent of the For­est Landown­ers As­so­ci­a­tion. He also served on the Board of Di­rec­tors of the For­est Landown­ers Tax Coun­cil and re­cently be­came in­volved with the For­est His­tory So­ci­ety.

In 2004, he re­ceived a Dis­tin­guished Alum­nus Award from the Yale School of Forestry and En­vi­ron­men­tal Stud­ies for his life­time achieve­ments. In 2009, he re­ceived the For­est Landown­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Lead­er­ship Award.

Mr. Rodgers’ wife, Karen “Tweedy” Rodgers, died in 2000. Mr. Rodgers is sur­vived by his daugh­ter, Kim; his son, Brian; daugh­ter-in­law, Cathy; three grand­sons, Kyle, Sean, and Bret; and his sis­ter, Mar­garet Rodgers Rak.

A fu­neral ser­vice will be held on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 20, 2016 at 12 Noon at The Old Trin­ity Church, 1716 Tay­lors Is­land Road, Church Creek, MD. The fam­ily will re­ceive friends prior to the fu­neral ser­vice in the church Parish house from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Ar­range­ments are in the care of the Thomas Fu­neral Home, P.A in Cam­bridge, MD.

KIRK P. RODGERS

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