Bob Mace was born in 1921 and raised on a ranch north of Central Point and adjacent to the Rogue River. Known for his passion for wildlife, Bob was a 1942 Oregon State College graduate with a degree in wildlife management. He served in the Navy during WWII, and was a 23-year member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. A wildlife biologist and career Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) employee, Bob retired as Deputy Director for Field Operations in 1981 and moved back to his family property, across the Rogue River from Lower Table Rock, in the early 1980’s he was known for his dedication, professionalism, and conservation ethic.
Bob believed that a more positive way to refer to these species—so many of which are admired by nature lovers—would foster the respect they deserved.
Starting in 1979, Bob Mace coined the phrase “watchable wildlife” to replace “nongame” as a reference to non-hunted species—highlighting the value of these often lesser-known species.
Bob and Phyllis Mace Watchable Wildlife Fund
In 2006, the Maces crafted an agreement with the Oregon Community Foundation to create the Bob and Phyllis Mace Watchable Wildlife Fund.
Revenues from the fund are already being invested back into programs that benefit watchable wildlife and the public.
If your organization is interested in applying for a grant, click
Bob and Phyllis Mace Watchable Wildlife Chair
In 1994 Bob and his wife, Phyllis, began making annual gifts to support a faculty position and scholarships in Watchable Wildlife in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department at Oregon State University. Preceded in death by Phyllis, Bob Mace passed away in November 2006. Their estate gift expanded their legacy by creating an endowment for the Bob and Phyllis Mace Watchable Wildlife Chair as well as endowing a scholarship fund for OSU students majoring in fish and wildlife. The holder of the Mace chair, appointed for a five-year term, receives flexible resources to use for research and outreach, furthering the work Bob championed throughout his life.
Bob and Phyllis Mace Watchable Wildlife Memorial Center
As part of Bob and Phyllis’ legacy, a 6,000-square-foot Bob and Phyllis Mace Watchable Wildlife Memorial Center at the Jackson County Exposition Park was built to enhance wildlife viewing in Southern Oregon. The center, which is designed to help local communities discover the economic potential of nature-related recreation, will further efforts to preserve native plants and animals in their natural habitats.
The facility includes a general meeting/exhibition center with a kitchen and storage, as well as a kid-friendly education center with Internet access to a watchable wildlife website.
My father believed it was critical that schoolchildren be able to get out in nature to see, appreciate, and learn about wildlife, and providing them with opportunities to do so was very important to him.
Mace Family Watchable Wildlife Area
The Mace Family Watchable Wildlife Area is a 165-acre property on the Rogue River at the end of High Banks Rd, which has been in the Mace family since the early 1900s. The property is an upland site situated between the Rogue River and Whetstone Creek and across from Lower Table Rock, in one of the most ecologically significant areas of the Rogue Valley. Bob Mace developed the property as an aggregate site while alive and envisioned how he wanted it reclaimed once mining was completed.