Remembering Art Morley

November 19, 2023

Dedicated MLT Volunteer Had Deep Roots in Mendocino County

We at the MLT are deeply saddened to announce the loss of our dedicated friend and hard-working volunteer, Art Morley.

Art passed on November 18th, and as the photos on this page show, he was known to step up, time and again, to enthusiastically help with many MLT projects. He was particularly interested in fighting invasive plant species, a result, most likely, from his degree in biology, years of work as a park ranger for the State of California, and a consuming passion for protecting birds.

His obituary appears in the Fort Bragg Advocate-News of December 7th, 2023, and it is a compelling read. Highlights from his obituary inform this article.

Art was born in Fort Bragg, attended Fort Bragg High School, and distinguished himself with academic honors. He was a musician and active in student government as class president in his junior year. Art served more that 20 years in the Navy, including time in Asia. During his training in Washington, D.C., he met his future wife, Jean Hussey, at a square dance in the basement of a D.C. Unitarian church.


Much of Art and Jean’s courtship was spent outdoors. Jean taught Art how to canoe on the Potomac River, and introduced him to birdwatching. This became a life-long passion for Art, who was active in local birdwatching and the Audubon Society. He was chair of the Society’s Field Trip Committee for many years and a co-leader of the Point Cabrillo breeding bird surveys, as well as a volunteer service surveyor with the Society’s Save Our Shorebirds conservation project. Art also lead a team of volunteers at Glass Beach as a part of a citizen science Black Oystercatcher project for Audubon California. In addition to his work with MLT, Art was a dedicated volunteer for the Mendocino Area Parks Association.

During his final three years with the Navy, Art was on shore duty in Michigan. There, he began his college studies at the University of Michigan. Upon his retirement from the Navy, Art and Jean moved to San Diego where he earned degrees in psychology and biology at the state university. These served him well in his second professional life. He worked four years at Palomar Mountain State Park and then 14 years at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. He was a Park Ranger during his State Park career, patrolling vast areas of California’s desert wilderness, assisting visitors, protecting the natural resources, and sometimes pursuing lawbreakers.

Art retired in 1985 from the State Parks, and returned to Mendocino County in 1993 to care for his mother. In 2017, Art was honored by the State Parks for being a Weed Warrior. Art said that he and his friends removed more that 3,000 pampas grass plants from state parks. Others put this number much higher.

The list of Art’s involvement includes work with Women Voters of Mendocino County, volunteering with the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, the Pacific Textile Arts group, and an enthusiastic attendee of Mendocino Music Festival performances.

There is even more to Art’s story, and we comment the Ukiah Daily Journal for their excellent article of February 18th, 2017.

This article details how, after Jean’s passing in 2012, Art began to think about how to best support the organizations that the two of them cared about. He approached the Mendocino Community Foundation as to how to make arrangements to provide continuing financial support. As the Ukiah Journal Article says, Art and Jean had long saved out of prudence and a desire to be generous to worthy organizations. Years before his passing, Art made sure his generosity would survive him. In this, as with so much of what did, he has been superbly successful. 

You can read more about Art and Jean’s life at this link.