Doug Ayers, a founding member and longtime chairman of North Branch Land Trust, died Tuesday after a struggle with leukemia. Ayers, a veterinarian, ran an animal hospital and nearby emergency clinic. He was also instrumental in preserving the 412-acre Hillside Farms property in Kingston Township, which faced financial difficulties and was threatened by encroaching development.

Ayers will be missed by the Pennsylvania conservation community.

“Doug Ayers has passed but his conservation legacy will touch people for generations to come. He’s done tremendous good in the world, both with North Branch Land Trust and Hillside Farms. He also leaves me with good memories of long walks and talks as we were both figuring out land conservation. Doug will undoubtedly be in the thoughts of the many people he touched.”

Andrew Loza, Pennsylvania Land Trust Association

“He was a pioneer on a number of fronts. He thought there was irresponsible development in areas we should protect.”

Paul Lumia, North Branch Land Trust

“Doug’s been my friend for over 20 years. It’s because of him that I entered the world of conservation.”

Ellen Ferretti, Brandywine Conservancy

Read Ayers’ full obituary here.