SISTERS COUNTRY PERSONALITIES

Jim Anderson
Naturalist

ABOUT SCHS
Jim Anderson was born March 27, 1928, and raised on a small farm in West Haven, Connecticut. For 16 years, he never had cold hands or a cold forehead ‹ thanks to his grandfather teaching him how to milk cows.

It was on the farm that Jim learned the Conservation Ethic at the age of 12. "You eat what you shoot," his grandfather said, as he inspected a great horned owl Jim had shot.

It was also in West Haven that Jim began a long love affair with airplanes and flying. He used a horse-drawn mowing machine to cut the grass on a small airport close by, and took his wages in flying time. (This experience eventually led him to become a FAA Certified Commercial Pilot and CFIG: Flight Instructor in gliders).

Jim rolled into Bend on his Harley-Davidson in September of 1951, after spending 4 years in the US Navy serving on sub-chasers. The day after he arrived in Bend he was fighting forest fires, using his Harley for transportation on mountain roads.

In the mid-50's Jim spent time with Fort Rock (Oregon) horseman, Reub Long, author of "The Oregon Desert" to see if he wanted to be a buckaroo. He didn't.

Jim logged, mined pumice, and studied coyotes - especially the response to poisons (to non-target species, such a raptors) and what effect "control" had on reducing livestock damages. He also became involved with the Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) apprehending miscreants shooting eagles, hawks, and owls. In later years, he contracted studies for ODFW on bats, eagles, hawks, owls, cormorants, and osprey.

Jim worked for The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland as a naturalist for several years, implementing outdoor science activities for students and teachers, and operating science camps. He was also the director of the Children's Zoo and Conservation and Education in what is now the Oregon Zoo in Portland.

Jim has been studying raptors in Central Oregon for over 40 years, specializing in golden eagles, osprey, ferruginous hawks and American Kestrel.

Jim has been writing a nature column for The Nugget Newspaper in Sisters and The Source of Bend for several years, and recently for General Aviation. He is also the author of a book, "Tales from a Northwest Naturalist." He is a self-taught naturalist. (In his case a "Naturalist" is a biologist who flunked chemistry.)

Jim has traveled to Australia, lived with Aborigines in the Northern Territory, and studied spiders in Melbourne. He was the manager of TNC¹s Ramsey Canyon Preserve in SE Arizona for three years, has also traveled throughout Arizona and the Northwest conducting a variety of natural history studies, including, birds, spiders, condors, hawks, eagles and owls.

Jim started the nature programs at Sunriver in the early 70's, working with John Gray and the original landscape architect, Bob Royston.

Jim has conducted Elder Hostel programs for Central Oregon Community College, Sunriver Nature Center, and Southern Oregon University for several years.


Copyright © 2006 Sisters Country Historical Society