Saturday, April 12, 2008

Kent Christopher RIP plus Sage Synchronicity

My old friend Kent Christopher died in a skiing accident at Targhee a couple of weeks ago. He was only 54, a great falconer and a vitally important voice for the sage grouse and the sage ecosystem. I had known him since he was a college kid in Maine.

I last saw him when frequent commentor Matt Miller of the Nature Conservancy brought him, Tom Cade of the Peregrine Fund, Ted Kerasote, Libby and me to see the sage grouse dance on their leks in Idaho.

THe same day that he died, frequent guest- blogger Cat Urbigkit sent me a wonderful bunch of Sage grouse courting pics-- I may post some later. Turns out she was at Targhee when Kent made his last flight.

In the local paper, his obit said that " Christopher was one of the organizers of Dubois Grouse Days, an annual celebration of sage grouse in eastern Idaho. He also helped establish the North American Grouse Partnership, a group that lobbied for the conservation of grouse. He was also a nationally known falconer. “He was one of those champions for wildlife who never tired,” said Terry Thomas, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologist who worked with Christopher for more than a decade. “He did whatever he could to help. Always. Every time I met up with him, I was more impressed.” "

Matt added, in a note to me:

"A very sad loss for us in Idaho. Kent was a great man and so passionate about falconry, sagebrush country and sage grouse. He put conservation on the ground--some of the most successful grouse conservation projects in the West happened on his watch."

For more on one of Kent's two favorite birds (can you guess the other? go to this post at John Carlson's Prairie Ice.


Matt Mullenix said...

I was shocked to hear about Kent's death. I never met him in person but we had numerous lengthy email exchanges, sometimes heated as we found ourselves on different sides of an issue. But never was he anything but a gentleman and never was there any doubt about his great passion for our sport. That kind of energy is impossible to replace and is a real loss. Best regards and prayers to Kent's family and friends.

Dave said...

Mr Christopher Was my teacher ,He is definitely one of my heros

robert said...

Mr. Christopher was a wonderful teacher as well. I had a few laughs with him and definately looked up to him. God bless you Kent. You will be missed.