My Earth Day Dedication and Tribute to Kim Crumbo, the Wolf Brother and Medicine Bear
It was during an interesting discussion over two years ago with some colleagues about grizzly bears on our mailing list, when I found an email from Kim Crumbo asking me to do a photo essay about grizzlies and wolves in Rewilding Earth.
Needless to say, I was shocked but very proud and excited.
“Oh my God… Big Kim Crumbo just asked me to do a photo essay?!”
I must have read his email ten times to realize it was true. All I could say was I would be more than happy to and I appreciated his trust.
Before this happened, I got to know Kim as a very knowledgeable advocate for wildlife. He was very active team member at our Rocky Mountain Wolf Project Coalition. His thoughts, ideas, and opinions made us think and made us try harder.
I think he was the Brother Wolf and Medicine Bear himself at the same time.
He took very seriously the presence of large carnivores and the returning and meaning of wolves on the landscape and in the healthy ecosystem. His wise words were always spot on, and I just had to give attention to his thoughts.
He wrote and shared an excellent letter one time entitled “Administrative and Litigation Summary of Attempts to Delist the Gray Wolf” (March 18, 2019). He said: “Please feel free to use the information below in your efforts to protect the North American gray wolf. Any suggestions for improvement will be greatly appreciated. –Kim Crumbo, Senior Carnivore Advocate.”
It was brilliant!
I started to feel, between Mike Phillips, Norman Bishop, and Kim Crumbo, like I was back in university but under the best hands of these teachers.
Kim helped to highlight the meaningful subjects of articles many times. He always pulled us back to the ground with his comments, gently pointing out all wildlife matters. The Mexican wolves, the rivers, bears, and migrating birds... every living being.
Little I knew of him, considering how incredibly knowledgeable and genius he was.
All I knew was that my brain was like a sponge when I was reading his words. His love and enthusiasm for Nature was so inspiring but calming in a very meaningful way.
I wish I had known him longer. He was A Son of Nature, who just simply had to be listened to. Because he understood it all.
He took the "Big Journey" as Native Americans say, but he is still with us in our conservation work every single day.
I know that he would be so happy to listen to the lost Call of the Wild all over in the West.
I wish I could have told him what I accomplished, and tell him all about Alaska, what I saw and how I saw it through north of The Yukon River and near the Arctic Circle through the Eagle Summit, just south of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge where we watched the big Caribou herd gathering.
I will tell you about it in my next story dedicated to Kim.
But all I can say right now is that I am keeping a few of his thoughts in my mind from one of his conversations three years ago:
"Things that we can do is, pick something that's personal to you. Pick something that means a lot to you. The thing is, that you have this chance, you have this opportunity, given to us for whatever reasons. And then here we are, and looking out the window to the beautiful forest, flowers, birds, and all that wildlife. And I had that opportunity you know. Take advantage of the moment. Take advantage of the time we have.”
Thank You, Kim!
I am very proud and thankful to you, that you trusted me to do these photo essays for the Rewilding Institute. This one is full photos of both grizzlies and wolves like we first discussed.
We have been losing the connection with Nature over the centuries, due to the modernization of the running world and the survival mode of a money-making life many focus on.
Therefore, it has become more important than ever that we find and listen to the experienced human guides of Nature, like Kim Crumbo was. He and many others have the knowledge and the power of passion and love to help others to open their hearts and minds to listen and see.
Wildlife is an important part of the world. The Earth is the Wildlife herself and we are only "visitors."
We need to ReWild and relearn to live and let live.
Please click on any photo in this post to enlarge it.
Krisztina Gayler has been wolf watching in Yellowstone since 2013. She has also been: Colorado Representative at National Wolfwatcher Coalition since 2016; Coalition Member at Rocky Mountain Wolf Project 2017; Crew member at The 06 Legacy Nonprofit Wolf Advocate group 2018; Contractor at MoRak Farm & Ranch LLC 2016; Former Director 10 years at ReMounts Equine and Land LLC – Training horses, range rider, cattle work; Former Volunteer at Campaign for Yellowstone Wolves. (Photo: Krisztina at Yellowstone, September 2020. (c) Heidi Pinkerton)