Born Natasha D. Smith in Sussex, England in 1906, Natasha Boyd moved to North America with her sister and mother in 1912. Although destined for Canada, the open plains of northern Montana viewed during the train ride across the northern United States captured their hearts. There they settled and farmed the land. Drought and changes in the food markets brought on by WWI forced the women off their land. With Natasha and her sister on horseback and their mother driving the team and wagon, the three journeyed across the Great Divide to a new home in rural Idaho. This was a pivotal journey in Natasha's life, awakening a deep sense of connection to the natural world.
Natasha enrolled in the University of California at Berkeley , where in 1938 she earned a Master's degree in Paleontology, the study of prehistoric life. Her studies took her to many undeveloped areas throughout the western states, and gave rise to a deep commitment to the conservation of wildlife and their habitat. For the rest of her life this conservation ethic inspired Natasha's work, writing, and art. Believing human relationships are as important as those among living things in nature, Natasha was also deeply committed to people and communities.
After graduation she joined the US Army Corps where, among other postings during WWII, Natasha participated in the rehabilitation of disabled soldiers by teaching them art. She eventually returned to civilian life and attended the University of Denver. Her 1951 dissertation on Interpersonal Communications led her to become one of only a few women to earn a doctorate in the 1950's. During her PhD studies Natasha met and married Carl Boyd, with whom she later adopted two children, Charlene and Dan. Their shared sense of adventure led them to travel widely and make their home throughout the western states. While in Colorado, Natasha advocated for wilderness protection, believing its loss was a loss to humanity.
The wild beauty of the Robson Valley drewNatasha and Carl to settle here 1973. During this time Natasha traveled extensively throughout BC's wilderness and into the far north, devoting much of her time to painting wildlife in its natural habitat. Natasha was also deeply committed to her community. She was active in the Blackwater Producers Cooperative and helped establish the McBride Arts Council. Countless people in the Robson Valley were profoundly affected by her compassion for others and her dedication to community. The Natasha Boyd Wetland Conservation Area is in memorial to a woman of inspirational strength, integrity and passion.