Conservation

Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

Boone and Crockett Members – In Memoriam

2021-2022 Boone and Crockett Member Obituaries

 


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Paul D. Webster III

Paul D. Webster III, of Wayzata, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on June 2nd at age 90. Paul became a Regular Member of the Club in 1985 and an Honorary Life Member in 2008. He served as president of the Club from 1995 to 1997. Paul was an Official Measurer and served as a Chief Judge at the Club’s Triennial Awards Program for many years. Paul helped raise the funds to establish a chair in wildlife conservation at the University of Montana, purchase the TRM Ranch, and secure the gift that established the Rasmuson Education Center at the TRM Ranch. 

Paul was an energetic person throughout his life. He became an Eagle Scout who earned the Silver Beaver award and obtained a pilot’s license when he was 16 years old. He particularly loved float planes, in which he logged over 8,000 hours. Paul spent two summers before college working at his family’s sawmills in Idaho, where he became fascinated with bighorn sheep and taught himself to hunt big game. 

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Paul was called to active duty in the Navy in 1949. From 1951 to 1953, he served in the Korean conflict as a member of the Navy’s newly formed Underwater Demolition Team, the precursor of the Navy Seals. He served as a member of the Naval Reserve for 24 years. Prior to his military service, Paul attended Grinnell College in Iowa for one year, and after returning from Korea, he obtained a degree from Macalester College in Minnesota. He later attended several executive business programs at Harvard through his affiliation with Young Presidents Organization. 

Paul’s entire business career was spent at Webster Lumber Company, a family-owned hardwood manufacturing business started by his grandfather that produced flooring, millwork, and furniture parts from hardwood trees harvested in the upper Midwest. Paul served as its President from 1962 through 2007. Much of the millwork and flooring in the Club’s Missoula Headquarters and the Rasmuson Education Center were a donation from Webster Lumber Company. 

In 1970, Paul expanded the family business to include a pressure-treating plant to manufacture and supply wood crossties to railroads in the U.S., Canada, as well as railroads in Iran, Israel, and Egypt. For many years, he served as a tariff and trade representative in Asia and Europe for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Hardwood Export Council, and Wood Products International. 

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Paul spent a lifetime hunting big game, focusing primarily on wild sheep. He loved the adventure and challenge of hunting sheep in very remote regions of the world. Dan Pedrotti and other B&C members sometimes joined him on these hunts. During his 70 years of sheep hunting, he traveled to more than 30 countries, including Bhutan, Pakistan, and Iran and other countries that are no longer open to hunting. Paul achieved the equivalent of four Grand Slams of sheep and a World Slam during his life, but he kept this accomplishment to mostly to himself.  

In addition to big game hunting, Paul enjoyed bringing friends and family to his fishing camp at Lake of the Woods, his family’s duck camp in the Delta Marsh in Canada, and never turned down an invitation to go upland bird hunting. Paul was a very good shot; he won a world championship in 20-gauge skeet competition and won the Minnesota State Trap shooting competition in Class A. He curated an extensive collection of hunting and fishing books, which he recently donated to the University of Minnesota. 
Paul was also a member of the Wild Sheep Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Grand Slam Club, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, International Sheep Hunters Association, and Arizona Bighorn Sheep Society. 

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, four siblings, and his son Paul D. Webster IV, who died in military service to his country. He is survived by his wife, Mary, daughters Elizabeth, Rebecca (Greg), two grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

Those who knew Paul will miss his unforgettable presence, forthright manner, entertaining stories, and genuine interest in everyone he met. His spirit will endure in the many people and places he touched. 
   


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Valerius Geist

A Tribute to a Remarkable Man, an Extraordinary Mind, and an Irreplaceable Friend.

Shane P. Mahoney and John F. Organ

If you can speak what you will never hear, if you can write what you will never read, you have done rare things.

Henry David Thoreau

There are, it seems, too few rare things in life, too few things that provide irreplaceable perspective on our short journey of awareness. But, once discovered, such rare things forge an unfettered immersion in the beauty and fullness of human existence. For those of us who had the privilege of knowing Valerius Geist personally, rarity was, thereafter, part of our lives. He gave us this gift effortlessly and without ever knowing how we struggled to describe the significance of what knowing him meant to each and every one of us. He had no idea that we came to every discussion with him expecting rarity; nor would he have known that we were never denied. He would have smiled at the notion, nevertheless. He scattered ideas like seeds and we gathered them up and planted them, hoping we would recognize what they became. Far more times than not, he already knew.  

Valerius Geist was the epitome of a Renaissance Man; his talents many, his knowledge boundless, and his love of knowledge, greater still. He approached science with an artist’s eye and a philosopher’s mind and he approached wine making and the quality of a hen’s tail feathers in exactly the same way. His work capacity was extraordinary and his contributions to our understandings of wildlife and systems of conservation are legend. It will be a rare thing, indeed, should his grasp of such things ever be exceeded in a single human being. 

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Born in the Ukraine and emigrating to Austria as a young boy, Geist learned first-hand about wildlife governance in totalitarian regimes.  After emigrating to Canada, he studied under Ian McTaggert-Cowan at the University of British Columbia where his pioneering Ph.D. work on mountain sheep in the northern Canadian Rockies led to his first book and the Book of the Year Award from The Wildlife Society in 1971. If there is a single graduate student of wild sheep who has never read this book then they have most likely taken their degrees on other planets. To this day it is considered the sheep bible.   

After post-doctoral studies with Nobel Laureate and ethologist Konrad Lorenz, Geist founded a program on Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, Alberta, which he led until his retirement in 1995.  His Environmental Design Department was one of the first truly inter- and trans-disciplinary academic programs in wildlife science, and was viewed skeptically by some when it was first founded. But, being out in front was a natural position for Geist and many of his ideas took time to incubate but eventually became part of our accepted understandings.   His1978 book, titled Life Strategies, Human Evolution, and Environmental Design – Towards a Biological Theory of Health, was a monumental effort representing a synthesis of his program’s approach and his own thinking towards environmental science and the idea of human and nature health.  A massively referenced volume, this book was, in many ways, a tutorial on a way of thinking – the integration of evolution and animal behavior that leads to a deep understanding of wildlife and human well-being that can inform conservation efforts and policy. Much of this thinking was decades ahead of similar efforts now spearheaded by international conservation conventions and institutions.  

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Geist’s experiences in Eastern Europe and North America, as well as many other continents, formed the basis for his creation of the concept known as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation – the key legal and policy initiatives that collectively distinguish the highly successful wildlife conservation legacy of Canada and the United States from other approaches worldwide. Much of the thinking and successes, but also the challenges surrounding this conservation paradigm are captured in the recent book, The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and co-edited by Dr. Geist.  In all, Geist wrote 19 books and had 2 more in progress at the time of his death.  His scientific papers and popular writings numbered in the hundreds.  Geist was a captivating speaker, and generous to the many wildlife students and professionals – young and old – who clamored to speak with him. He was a highly social individual and simply loved talking to people and sharing ideas with them.  

No tribute to this exceptional man, and dear friend and mentor can pass without a mention of Geist the hunter.  He proudly wore his Jager coat to scientific meetings, earned under the strict and challenging hunting protocols and training in Germany.  He hunted all over the world, and since retirement hunted on and around his farm in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, where he and his beloved wife Renate made splendid meals of the animals and plants they raised, and the game he hunted.  With Geist’s passing we have lost a colleague whose knowledge and insights continued to thrill and inspire right to his last days. Even up to a few short weeks ago conversations with him were dazzling displays of optimism, kindness and hope. His legacy will live on in the ideas he gave us and the lessons on humanity that he taught us. Our hope is what he taught us about how to view the natural world, and how to live our lives with purpose and clarity, will live on among current and future conservationists.  Our world will be better for it. 


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Norden van Horne

Norden van Horne, age 92, died on August 5, 2021, after a long illness. His lifetime of big game hunting throughout the world included a love for antiquarian books on the subject. He was heavily involved in the development of the outstanding Boone and Crockett library in Missoula, along with fellow Club Member Theodore J. Holsten (also pictured above). The Library includes valuable source material on Theodore Roosevelt and other prominent past Boone and Crockett members. 

Van Horne attended the Club's 132nd Annual Meeting in Tucson, Arizona, in 2019. He was presented with his 30-year pin from Club President Tim Brady during the Saturday meeting.

If you have memories of Norden that you would like us to add to his obituary, please send them to Julie Tripp.

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Robert H. Hanson

Regular member, devoted husband, father, grandfather, and lifelong friend to many, Robert “Bob” Hixon Hanson, Sr., passed away peacefully at home from complications of multiple myeloma on Aug. 22, 2021.

Bob was born in Chicago to the late Maurice Francis Hanson and Margaret Hixon Hanson on April 8, 1941. Bob spent his life in the diligent pursuit and achievement of excellence. He graduated from both The Hotchkiss School (’59) and Yale University (’63) with honors. At Yale he was an esteemed member and Captain of the rifle team, joined the Army ROTC, and competed in Rifle and Pistol Marksmanship, becoming an Olympic contender in 1964 and 1968. 

During this time, Bob also developed a love of flying, earning private, seaplane, and jet pilot licenses. His wife and children were often his favorite passengers in his twin-engine Piper Aztec. Another lifelong passion was golf. He started as a caddy at the Round Hill Country Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, and continued to test his skills at courses around the country and the world.

Unceasingly ambitious, Bob spent 25 years as an Investment Banker at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith in New York City. Seven years into his tenure with Merrill Lynch, Bob met Arlene Peters, his wife and the love of his life. Three children soon followed, along with an adventurous cross-country move to Wyoming in 1990. 

He became Vice President of D.A. Davidson in Cody, was a partner with Greenstar Telecommunications, and co-owner of The Trophy Connection – a travel and taxidermy business with clientele from around the world. He enjoyed the Wild West and gleaned much pleasure from living on a high-country ranch surrounded by wildlife and a pristine, rugged landscape.

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It was a love of travel and conservation that took Bob and his hunting partner Arlene around the world fishing, hunting, and mountaineering. Counted among their favorite places were Africa, Antarctica, Alaska, and Nepal. 

Bob’s exuberant face shines through in photos at the Base Camp of Mount Everest in 1990 and in snapshots of numerous trips he took with Arlene and their children around the world. He delighted in sharing his appreciation of travel and the outdoors, and nothing made him happier than experiencing anew this love through the eyes of his family.

Throughout his years, Bob contributed to and volunteered for numerous institutions, clubs, and committees. As a staunch proponent of education, not only did Bob read hundreds of books a year, he was a loyal supporter of his alma maters. Watching Jeopardy with his children and grandchildren gave Bob the opportunity to showcase his wealth of knowledge and pass along a love of learning. 

He served on the School Board of Greenwich Academy in Connecticut and was an active member of the Yale Alumni Association. He was also a director of the local chapters of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and a member of The American Legion. Bob was most known for his dedication to the world of conservation education. 

He served on the board of the Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, was a life member of The Wild Sheep Foundation, Safari Club International, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, The Wild Turkey Federation, Dallas Safari Club, The Camp Fire Club of America, The NRA, and Grand Slam Club Ovis. 

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Bob was secretary of the Boone and Crockett Club for 25 years of his 30-year membership, the longest of any secretary in the club. His passion and dedication to the preservation of wildlife are evidenced by his countless awards displayed with immense pride throughout his home.

For his final chapter, Bob wrote a memoir chronicling the tales of his life in hunting and the outdoors. Like everything else he cultivated, his mastery of words and recollection will take center stage among the greats and forever be the story that we share.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Arlene Peters Hanson; his daughters Diane Hanson-Haynes (Michael); Karen Percy (Clinton); son Robert Hixon Hanson, Jr. (Sonia), and his seven grandchildren: Cadence, Walker, and Byron Percy; Nicholas and Andrew Haynes; and Audrey and Benjamin Hanson. Among his surviving and loving family members are his brother Michael Hanson (Patsy); sister Barbara Pierce (Charles), and his many cherished nieces, nephews and cousins.

His family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Messinger Pinnacle Peak Mortuary in Scottsdale, Ariz. A full obituary and messages of condolence can be found at messingermortuary.com.

Burial has taken place at The National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.


Edward B. Rasmuson

Edward B. Rasmuson, philanthropist, banker, businessman, and one of our Club’s most generous and influential members over the last three decades passed away on January 4, 2022 at his home in Anchorage, Alaska after battling cancer. He was 81.

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A third-generation Alaskan, Ed was born August 27, 1940, in Houston, Texas to his Alaska born father, Elmer E. Rasmuson and Lile Vivian (Bernard) Rasmuson. He was raised during Alaska’s territorial days and matured during the exciting early days of statehood when industrious people came to our young state to not just learn about history but to make history. And Ed did just that.

He worked in the family banking business, National Bank of Alaska, for over 30 years starting as a teller, then a branch manager in Southeast Alaska and ultimately led the organization as chairman of the board. He integrated work with an education and along the way graduated from Harvard College.

In July 2000, Ed orchestrated the sale of the National Bank of Alaska to Wells Fargo. When his father passed away that December, the bulk of the estate was given not to the family, but instead to the Rasmuson Foundation, the family foundation created by his father and grandmother in 1955. It was the first time that a fortune made in Alaska stayed in Alaska, something Ed was very proud of.

The sale of the family bank fueled the Foundation’s dramatic growth in assets, and giving. Over the next 20 plus years with Ed as Chair and wife Cathy as Vice-chair, they grew the foundation into the largest private funder in Alaska. Since 1955, the Rasmuson Foundation has provided more than $475 million in charitable donations to benefit Alaskans.

Their goal was to find new and better ways to improve life for all Alaskans and initiated efforts in Anchorage to develop world class parks and trails, expand the Anchorage Museum, and end homelessness as well as many other programs and initiatives including regional and national projects.

Ed embraced the Alaska lifestyle from a young age and loved nothing more than traveling the state in his Cessna 206, fishing and hunting with his family and friends and then grilling the days bounty for all to enjoy.

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His contributions to the Boone and Crockett Club are well known. He served 11 years on the Club Board and 19 years on the Foundation Board. He worked on numerous committees and served 16 years as the Chair of the Audit Committee. Last summer some of Ed and Cathy’s B&C friends came together in Anchorage to recognize and celebrate Ed’s elevation to Honorary Life status. It was especially appropriate for Ed to receive this distinction in 2021 as we also recognized the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Rasmuson Wildlife Conservation Center at the Ranch. This incredible venue, which we are all so proud of, has reached and educated more than 70,000 visitors, mostly young people, and stands out as one of the Club’s most significant and valuable assets.

Additional community service included the University of Alaska Board of Regents, the Anchorage Museum Foundation board, Great Alaska Council Boy Scouts of America, Atwood Foundation board, Rotary Club of Anchorage, Elks Club, Pioneers of Alaska, Explorer’s Club, UAF Fisheries Research Center advisory board, United Way of Anchorage, and The Foraker Group.

Ed is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Cathryn; daughter Natasha von Imhof and son-in-law Rudi von Imhof; daughter Laura Emerson and son-in-law Ross Emerson; grandchildren Liesel, Nicholas, Tanner, Milo and Anton; sisters Lile Gibbons (John) and Judy Rasmuson (Ron); nephews Jay Gibbons (Melissa) and Adam Gibbons (Ingrid); and nieces Jenny Forti (Steve) and Amanda Baer (David). Ed was preceded in death by his son David Rasmuson, and infant son Bruce Rasmuson.

A celebration of life is planned for June 23rd in Anchorage. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to any of the following: The Alaska Community Foundation; the Anchorage Museum; and the Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program through the University of Alaska Foundation.

Tim Brady
Past President


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Kim (far left) enjoying one of many Conservation Heritage Education Foundation's (CHEF) events. Kim was a strong supporter of CHEF since its inception in 2013.

Stanford "Kim" Williams

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On February 3, we said farewell to Regular Member Stanford (Kim) Williams after a brief illness. Born March 23, 1945, in California while his father was serving in WWII, Kim spent his early youth in Darien, Connecticut, before moving back to the family hometown of Evanston, Illinois. Kim's football scholarship to the University of South Carolina came to an end due to injury leading to his transferring to Parsons College in Iowa. It was at Parsons that Kim met the love of his life, Carol Sinclair. They married while still in college and remained locked in love for 53 adventure filled years until Carol's untimely passing February 13, 2021. After graduation and early in his career, he was a nationally ranked competitive skeet shooter and was known to collect more than a few purses on the live pigeon circuit.  Following his learnings in economics and finance, Kim entered the brokerage business with Paine Weber, which eventually became UBS, for a most rewarding 48-year professional career.

Kim's passions were his children, Missy (Rob) DeVries, Heather, and Doug (Hollie) as well as his grandchildren Will, Emma, Maggie, Brittin, and Gracie. His delights were being on his tractor at the family farm and enthusiastically fostering the benefits of the out of doors to youngsters everywhere. He knew that in leading by example, his hunting ethics would become the foundation for wildlife conservation for many many others. Paying it forward by simple acts of kindness to friends and strangers alike was his calling card, as was his habit of always having a pocket full of $2 bills which made for a sure way to be remembered by the waitress at the local café as well as bartenders everywhere. 


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Lee M. Talbot

Dr. Lee Merriam Talbot passed away on April 27, 2021, the Club’s longest serving member since 1967 (54 years). Grandson of the famed Dr. C. Hart Merriam, he was the last giant of a class of recent Club members whose names were legends in American conservation. These included Sidney Dillon Ripley II, Director of the Smithsonian Museum who added wildlife conservation and endangered species propagation to that institution’s mission and agenda; Russell Train, Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior, first Director of the Council on Environmental Quality, the White House’s wildlife and natural resources policy, and Director of the World Wildlife Fund; and, Dr. Durwood Allen, author of the 1973 North American Wildlife Policy, updating the 1930 policy, both of which were transformative in establishing the wildlife management model for the 20th century.  Dr. Talbot’s most lasting achievement was his principal authorship of the 1973 Endangered Species Act, and guidance through Congress to enactment together with legendary Congressman John D. Dingell, Jr. of Michigan.

Talbot was a Marine officer (1953-54) during the Korean War.  His 1963 Ph.D. at the University of California-Berkley was on endangered species.  His principal faculty advisor was Aldo Leopold’s oldest son Dr. A. Starker Leopold. Dr. Lee Talbot was a distinguished scientist, ecologist and geographer, who came from a likewise distinguished linage. 

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Talbot, center, received his 50-year pin from B&C past president, Lowell Baier, left, in 2017.

Talbot’s mother was an ethnologist, biologist and naturalist deeply committed to conservation.  For many years she was a field assistant to her celebrated father, Dr. C. Hart Merriam, naturalist on the Hayden Expedition in 1872 to survey Yellowstone National Park, and first Chief of the U.S. Biological Survey in 1886. Talbot’s father Merle W. Talbot was a pioneer range and wildlife ecologist for 44 years who worked for the Forest Service in the Southwest in the early 1920s.  Later he became Director of the California Forest and Range Experimental Station, U.S. Forest Service. In 1924 he and Aldo Leopold opened up management of the Gila Wilderness Area, the country’s first designated wilderness area.  Involved with The Wilderness Society in its early days, he was a founder of the Society for Range Management.  Talbot’s maternal grandfather, known as the father of mammalogy, was the renowned Dr. C. Hart Merriam (1855-1942), first Director of the U.S. Biological Survey for twenty-five years (which is today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).  He was a contemporary and close friend of Theodore Roosevelt, and later John Muir with whom he spent time afield. Dr. Merriam was the naturalist on the 1872 Hayden Geologic Survey which was the first to survey what became Yellowstone National Park.

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Lee Talbot served as Director General of IUCN from 1980 to 1982.

Dr. Lee Talbot had been with the (IUCN) early on in his career as a staff ecologist, and then joined the Smithsonian Museum in 1966. From there he was transferred to become Senior Scientist at the newly created White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) (1970-78) chaired by Russell Train of World Wildlife Fund fame.  During his time at CEQ, he directly participated in the creation of CITES and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and was a principal author of the Endangered Species Act. Talbot later joined the World Wildlife Fund as their Conservation Director and Science Advisor in Switzerland (1978-80), before returning to the IUCN as their Director General (1980-83) where in 1964 he had authored the first Red Book listing the endangered species of the world. He was a Professor of Environmental Science, International Affairs and Public Policy at George Mason University in Virginia at the end of his career.

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Dr. Talbot’s avocation was that of a vintage race car driver, nationally and internationally, professionally racing on four continents for the last 60 years.  In the last decade, he’s won 6 of the top awards for racing worldwide, and 3 in Canada.  These earned him membership in the Road Racing Driver’s Club, the worldwide organization of championship-level race drivers.

Dr. Talbot’s research took him to 134 countries on 160 expeditions over 5 continents.  He authored over 300 publications, including scientific research papers, monographs, books and popular articles.  His first book in 1960 sponsored by the IUCN was titled A Look at Threatened Species (London: Oryx).  Talbot’s other numerous distinguished titles have included Senior Environmental Advisor to the World Bank; Scientist and Foreign Affairs Director for the President’s Council on Environmental Quality for President Nixon, Ford and Carter; Director of Environmental Science and Resident Ecologist for the Smithsonian Institution; Senior Scientific Advisor to the International Council of Scientific Unions, and a member of over 20 committees and panels of the National Academy of Sciences.


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Donald E. Young

Submitted by B&C Past President, Tim Brady

Longtime professional member Donald E. Young, known as the “Dean of the House” and “Congressman for all Alaska” passed away suddenly on March 18th while traveling home. His wife Ann was by his side.  

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Congressman Don Young, Senator Ted Stevens, and Governor Jay Hammond discussing the 200-mile U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in October of 1975. Photo Credit: Anchorage Daily News

First sworn in as a freshman to the 93rd Congress after winning a special election in March of 1973, Don was serving his 25th term and was the longest serving member of the current Congress. He became Dean of the House in 2017. For the vast majority of Alaska’s citizens, he was the only Congressman they ever knew.  

Just hours after being first sworn in to the United States House of Representatives, he found himself leading the historic battle for approval of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. Often citing this as the single most important achievement in his career, Congressman Young stated, “Next to statehood itself, the most historical legislation passed that affected every Alaskan then, now, and in the future, was the passage of the pipeline legislation.” That same year, his colleagues honored him as the “Freshman Congressman of the Year.” 

Congressman Young served as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee from 1995 to 2001 and then as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2001-2007. In the 110th Congress, Representative Young returned to the helm of the Resources Committee to lead his fellow Republicans as the Ranking Member. In the 112th Congress, he was chosen to serve as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs (IIANA)—a position he held until January 2017. After fulfilling a successful 6-year term as Chairman of the IIANA Subcommittee, Congressman Young was named Chairman Emeritus of the full House Committee on Natural Resources—a role that allowed him to bring his years of experience and knowledge to all five of the panel’s Subcommittees. Most recently, Congressman Young served as the most senior Republican on both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and House Natural Resources Committee. 

A professional member since 1990, Don believed in the mission and vision of the Boone and Crockett Club and was instrumental in helping us shape conservation policy over the last five decades. He understood that hunters were the champions of wildlife and habitat conservation and fought diligently to increase funding for state wildlife agencies via the Pittman-Robinson Act. He worked hard for increased access to public lands so Americans could enjoy the wonderful wild places we have in this country. In 1997, he passed by a 419 to 1 vote, the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, which set guidelines and priority uses within our nation’s 550-plus wildlife refuges. Over the last five years, the Boone and Crockett Club and our conservation community partners realized some of the greatest policy achievements we have seen over the last 50 years and Congressman Young helped lead our efforts. Some of the legislation passed includes: The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act in 2019, The Great American Outdoors Act in 2020, and America’s Conservation Enhancement Act also in 2020. These bills support enhanced opportunities for hunters, fisherman, and recreational shooters, as well as addressing the deferred maintenance backlog on federal public lands and waters, and reauthorizing vital programs including the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.   

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Don Young and regular member John Hendrix along with Ed Gohr chasing king salmon in Alaska.​​​​​​​

Born in 1933 in Meridian, California, Don earned his associate degree at Yuba Junior College in 1952, and his bachelor’s degree in teaching at Chico State College in 1958. Between earning his degrees, he served in the US Army’s 41st tank battalion from 1955 to 1957. 

His home was Fort Yukon, Alaska; a remote village located above the Arctic Circle in Alaska’s interior region. When he first moved to Alaska, Don made a living in construction and tried his hand at commercial fishing, trapping, and gold mining. In Fort Yukon he taught a 25 student, 5th grade elementary class in the Bureau of Indian Affairs school. During late spring and summers, he captained his own tug and barge to deliver essential products and supplies to villages along the Yukon River. He was the only licensed mariner in Congress.  

Congressman Young proudly served as the “Congressman for All Alaska” and loved his role as the only Alaskan Representative in Congress. In his almost 50 years of service his vision always remained the same—to provide citizens with the opportunity for a better life not just for today, but also for tomorrow and the future. 

On March 29th, Congressman Young received the rare honor of lying in state in Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol. Memorial services will be held on March 30th in Great Falls, Virginia and on April 2nd in Anchorage, Alaska. 


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