In Memory of James D. Range
Special Message from TRCP President and CEO, George Cooper.
Washington DC – -(AmmoLand.com)- The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership suffered a terrible loss this week. Jim Range, the Chairman of our Board of Directors, who founded this organization with a handful of visionary conservation leaders just seven years ago, died after a short battle with cancer. This crushing blow was felt not just here in the TRCP family, but across the conservation community and the many organizations Jim helped lead. Beyond our fraternity of conservation groups, it hit thousands of people across this country who had connected with Jim in his 40 years of working to conserve the American fish and wildlife resources he loved so much. He cherished critters and places so dearly that he often wept when talking about them. Now we weep for this man who was our champion and inspiration.
A hole has been torn in the fabric of the American sportsmen-conservation community. We will all come together to sew it up but there will always be a scar. The TRCP embodied Jim Range's vision for fundamentally changing the role sportsmen play in the policymaking that will shape the future of hunting and fishing in this country. He entrusted us with a mission we must fulfill – to guarantee every American a quality place to hunt and fish. We can't get there without continuing to change attitudes and open new doors in Washington. Jim got us started – let's keep going. Whether through the TRCP or other groups, take action when called upon or on your own to ensure a future for hunting and fishing in this country. Get involved. Give. Jim wouldn't sit still for anything that was eroding the outdoor way of life he treasured – we shouldn't either.
Personally speaking, Jim was my very close friend and my mentor. We wore down lots of boot soles following wonderful dogs over Montana landscapes that I dream about. I will miss him so much.
Please take a minute to read the thoughts on Jim below that were passed along from our board of directors. You can also go to a memorial site for Jim, www.jimrange.com, with pictures and messages from friends. This link will take you the TRCP site to see pieces that have been written about Jim and his incredibly rich life.
President & CEO
“Jim Range was one of the most effective conservation leaders of our time. Throughout his career he worked passionately for the nation's hunters and fishermen and everyone who loves our environment. He brought an exceptionally inclusive, pragmatic and sophisticated approach to conservation without care for personal recognition or acclaim. No one was a better companion in the stream or field. I will miss him deeply and so should everyone who loves the outdoors.”
The Forestland Group
“While Jim had the formal training of biology and law he never practiced either profession but parlayed that training and knowledge with his remarkable skills as a craftsman of public policy. What distinguished him from everyone else was his ability to take natural resource management concepts and transform them into enacted laws & funded programs. His considerable intellect & magnetic personality enabled him through his fierce loyalty to science based conservation to be the most important “outside” influencing factor on what goes on in the “inside”. His ability to see around political corners was epic. Jim pursued the chase of the best interests of the American sportsman in the halls of government with the same gusto, passion & determination he did when chasing after sharp-tailed grouse on the golden Autumn hills of the Great Plains. In a word Jim Range is irreplaceable!”
“Jim was one of the most remarkable men I ever met. He had a passion for hunting, fishing, and wild places that was beyond measure, and that passion was contagious. He made you want to fight for conservation, and like any great general, he made you want to follow him into battle. It may be a long time before we truly appreciate the impact he had on our lands and waters, but for now it's clear that hunters and fishermen have lost a great friend, and so have I.”
Garden & Gun
“The measure of any man's life is did he leave things better than he found them. There is simply no debate that Jim Range has left things far better than he found them. The conservation community has lost a giant and we have lost a dear friend.”
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
“Jim Range, in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt, was a rough rider. He saw the role of sportsmen as the political center of gravity on the conservation continuum in America. He anchored that role in his personal and professional passion for the future of our sporting traditions. He had a rasty sense of humor and a genuine respect for the tug and pull of policy…at the center of the political tornado…right where he liked it! He called it as he saw it. He fought for what was right…win or lose. He didn't lose many because he balanced passion with savvy. And along the way, he taught us all how to move the political needle in a completely unique style. Roosevelt, Leopold, Grinnell, Pinchot… move on over… make way in your place for another unique and irreplaceable giant of conservation. He's left our hall and is now in yours.”
Berkley Conservation Institute
“Jim Range brought together an industry separated by tiny differences under a common objective. He was the great connector. Only in the TRCP do you have organizations that compete for funding united together under a common banner. It's a joy to be part of Jim's legacy and a joy to be a part of the TRCP.”
“Anglers and hunters everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to Jim Range, a man they probably never heard of. Jim was the real deal…he made it his life's mission to ensure that our outdoors are protected for everyone to enjoy. Jim didn't believe in failure. It just wasn't in his vocabulary. He would do whatever it took to safeguard our outdoor heritage. He had a real talent, a true gift, for being able to bring everyone else along with him. And he truly loved being outdoors. He fished and hunted all over the country with a passion for the sport and a respect for the resources that was unparalleled. I will miss him!”
President & CEO
American Sportfishing Association
“Jim Range was the most ardent conservationist I've ever known, as he never restricted problem solving to traditional means….. Jim was about producing results for the American Sportsman, period. And you never had to guess what he was thinking!”
Big Sky Carvers
“Jim Range made hunting and fishing better for every American. He did not seek personal accolade or fame. Every day had the purpose of making it possible that each person who wanted to be in the field, or on the water would have that opportunity. We think of Teddy Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold as legendary conservation visionaries. So too will coming generations recognize that the work and skills of Jim Range were that of a visionary. A man of action who could be comfortable visiting with those who hold the highest national office and who could also skin a rattlesnake with a cowboy, or net shad with a waterman. Jim's legacy will live on the prairie and the waters of America for all of us to enjoy.”
Charles S. Potter, Jr.
President and CEO
Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation
“Jim Range was the best hunting buddy and the best fishing partner that any conservationist ever had. I am sorry to say that most of them never came to know of his work on their behalf. A few were fortunate enough to know of his work in the conservation community. Fewer yet knew him personally. A very fortunate few got to count him among their hunting buddies and their fishing partners. I feel really fortunate to have been included in all three groups. I will miss him greatly, but never forget my time and work with him.”
TRCP Board of Directors
“Jim saw a changing world in which the voices of hunters and anglers were being overshadowed by people and interests who don't hold the same reverence for ducks in flight at sunrise or elk bugling in the Fall. With his characteristic energy, he convinced colleagues and friends to form the TRCP Partnership in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt to speak with a louder voice to assure the future of fish and wildlife and hunting and fishing. This will be one of Jim's most enduring legacies.”
Dr. Rollin Sparrowe
TRCP Board of Directors
“Jim was an active an influential member of the Ducks Unlimited Board for over 13 years. He helped establish DU as an important player in the world of conservation policy. Jim was a great friend to me for over 25 years, he will be missed.”
Senior Group Manager