December 1, 2021 | By:

In Remembrance: Kim Crumbo Fund for the Wild

kim crumbo

The Rewilding team and our close wildlands partners have been rocked and saddened by the news of Kim Crumbo’s disappearance. He had been a mainstay of many TRI wildlands protection and restoration efforts, and while we had hoped for a miracle, we now acknowledge that we must be prepared to carry on his heroic work. Kim’s last canoeing adventure in September was with his brother, Mark, on Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park.

Kim was a Rewilding board member, Rewilding Leadership Council member, and Wildlands Coordinator staff member. Before launching his career in wilderness and river conservation and management, he spent four years with the Navy’s SEAL Team One completing two combat deployments to Vietnam. He worked as a professional river guide for 10 years and served 20 years with the National Park Service in Grand Canyon as the river ranger and later as Wilderness Coordinator.

Kim worked as staff and on the boards of the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council and the Arizona Wilderness Coalition, which merged to become Wild Arizona where he served on the board. He also worked for Southwest Forest Alliance while it was in operation. He worked previously as Western Conservation Director for Wildlands Network, was on the board of Western Wildlife Conservancy, and more recently was volunteer staff for Sierra Club national for their lands protection programs, formerly Our Wild America. Kim worked closely with SUWA, Project Coyote, and primarily as a key part of Lobos of the Southwest.

David Johns writes that “Bridges, hospital buildings, and much else get named after people but they will all be dust. Kim’s monuments are more lasting: a stalking cat, a lumbering griz, the sound of hawks, the wind from the next valley, and so much else.”

Kim’s disappearance leaves a huge vacuum to fill, and we hope you will help as we move forward to realize his vision.

The Crumbo family has established a memorial legacy fund in Kim’s honor. Proceeds from that fund will be divided between The Rewilding Institute (TRI), Project Coyote, Wild Arizona, and Lobos of the Southwest.

TRI and Project Coyote are committed to carrying on Kim‘s legacy, first by hiring a joint Carnivore Conservation Advocate position (currently advertised). This new hire will help further our mission, and Kim’s life’s work, of compassionate conservation and coexistence. In addition, this position will work closely with our most recent hires in support of a new joint TRI-Project Coyote initiative to rewild the Midwest through the Big River Connectivity Project.

Any and all support in Kim’s honor of our joint Carnivore Conservation Program through the Kim Crumbo Fund for the Wild would be deeply appreciated.

Please consider making a gift in Kim's memory and please continue his wild work however you can.

Kim and Becky in Warm Springs Rapid on the Yampa (c) Dave Foreman

Kim and his wife Becky in Warm Springs Rapid on the Yampa (c) Dave Foreman

Memories of Kim

On behalf of many who were rocked by Kim's disappearance, Camilla Fox (Project Coyote Executive Director) wrote a tribute to Kim published in Rewilding Earth focused on the hope and optimism that Kim insisted needed to exist in the conservation community. Read it here:  "Honoring Kim Crumbo."

Camilla Fox and Dave Parsons (TRI's Carnivore Conservation Biologist & Project Coyote Science Advisory Board member) were asked to share some thoughts and experiences of their time with Kim for Sedona Wolf Week which you can view here:

"Thank you so much Camilla and Dave – it was a lovely tribute for a loving man. I find that our weekly calls aren’t near as interesting without Kim on them – every call I was on with him I learned something new and he inspired me in many ways." –Roxanne Pacheco, TRI Treasurer

"I met Kim in 1978 on a street in front of the capital building in Denver where we gathered to show support for what was to become the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980. Then through the years we got together with other friends and collaborators for endless wilderness, wildlife, and river conferences and meetings. Kim became part of my conservation DNA. I so admire his persistence, dedication, and scholarly attention to the land and critters, and I sorely miss his clear thinking, optimism, and great good humor. And I’m thankful to have had that time and inspiration." –Susan Morgan, TRI President

Below is the video that was shown at the celebration of Kim's life on November 21, 2021, at the Mission Garden in Tucson, AZ. If you were not there or didn’t get a chance to see (or hear) it, watch below:

You can read the articles Kim contributed to Rewilding Earth here.

Listen to Kim's Rewilding Earth Podcast episodes here and here.

If you'd like to share any of your own memories of Kim or other thoughts, please leave a comment below.

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