Some men seem larger than life by their size, others by what they accomplish in life. Jerry was definitely the latter. He accomplished so much in his life for small scale miners, and especially for property rights and for freedom granted us by the Constitution, that any one tribute could not cover it all. Jerry was a mountain of a man when it came to fighting to keep our Public Lands rights, and he stood up to everyone no matter the odds, fighting for what he knew to be right, fair and just.
He was a visionary, seeing the onslaught of the environmentalist groups and government regulations long before anyone else hardly had an inkling of the threat to our freedom. He was rare in that he not only identified the threats, but acted proactively to thwart those threats by forming what is now known as Public Lands for the People, a 501-c3 non-profit organization that has been spearheading the fight to restore dredging rights in California over the last 5 years, as well as many other, lesser known battles (with many victories!).
Even while lying in his hospital bed, Jerry was more concerned about the affairs of PLP and the legal battles that are underway than his own welfare. Those of us that have known and worked with him over the years were not at all surprised with his dedication to his life’s work, right to the end. You see, these past many years he has dedicated his entire life, morning till night, to helping others. He would often do legal research for anyone that requested answers to public lands/ mining rights/ roads issues. When he wasn’t doing that, he was working on fundraising to keep PLP able to stay in the legal fights.He always had a good sense of humor, except if you were on the wrong side of the issues, then, well, you just don’t cross a man on a mission!
Jerry Hobbs, we will miss you. Your legacy will continue in the capable hands and leadership of PLP. We will continue to build on the solid foundation you have laid. We will never give up my friend; for you, for our kids, and for their kids. We will continue to carry the freedom torch in your honor, the one you inspired to be lit in each one of us. You were a rare leader, a man among men; and in many ways, larger than life. We were blessed to be counted among your friends. You are missed. Good bye friend.Ron Kliewer,
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Public Lands for the People