Jim Bridger inducted into Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame
by Wyoming Game & Fish
July 11, 2008
Possibly the most famous mountain man in history, a founding member of the Powder River Basin Resource Council, a pioneer of modern fisheries management practices in Wyoming, and a widely acclaimed wildlife film producer head the 2008 inductees into the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame.
"This year’s class represents an outstanding diversity of individuals who in their own way have left their mark on Wyoming’s outdoor heritage," said Marlene "Mo" Salveson, Executive Director of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming, the hall of fame sponsor.
Jim Bridger- (posthumously) Probably the most recognizable mountain man in history, Jim Bridger’s Wyoming exploits began at age 17 as a member of General Ashley’s Upper Missouri River expedition in 1822. He later built a trading post on the Black’s Fork of the Green River, later named Fort Bridger. He discovered an alternate route to the Oregon Trail discovering Bridger Pass, eventually the route used for the railroad and Interstate 80. He also blazed the Bridger Trail, served as an army scout during the Powder River Expedition (Red Cloud’s War) and has many places in Wyoming and the West named after him.
William Barlow, Gillette- (posthumously) As a founding member of the Powder River Basin Resource Council in 1973, Bill Barlow’s achievements have had ongoing significance on local, state and national levels. His influence helped state and national politicians realize the importance of implementing rigorous reclamation standards for coal mines, uphold strict water conservation and management practices and balance economic development with careful stewardship of Wyoming’s resources. This work with other landowners and citizens led to the passing of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act in 1977. He passed away in 2001.
Fred Eiserman, Casper- Throughout his 28-year Game and Fish career, Eiserman was a driving force in Wyoming fisheries management. He served as the first fisheries management coordinator for the Game and Fish and stewarded the evolution of the Game and Fish system of regional fisheries management crews located in each of the state’s major drainages. Among other accomplishments, he played an important role in the planning and operation of what was then the largest stream rehabilitation in North America, the rotenone treatment of 425 miles of the Green River system in Wyoming and Utah shortly before completion of Flaming Gorge and Fontenelle dams. He has been an important influence in recognition of the Wyoming fisheries program as a model for others in the western U.S.
William "Bill" Grunkemeyer, Sheridan (posthumously)- Fulfilling his passion as a wildlife photographer, Bill Grunkemeyer formed a company called Grunko Films in the mid 1980s and began producing fishing, hunting and wildlife videos. His work included more than 40 outdoor and wildlife film videos and 35 episodes for the Grunko series "Experience the Wild." During his career he won numerous awards for his own films as well as his camera work for other production companies. The National Wildlife Federation and the Wyoming Wildlife Federation twice named him Communicator of the Year for Wyoming. In 2003, Gov. Freudenthal proclaimed April 7 as "Bill Grunkemeyer Day in Wyoming." He passed away in 2003.
The Outdoor Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant lasting contributions towards conserving Wyoming’s wildlife heritage through volunteer service, environmental restoration, political and individual leadership, the arts, educational activities and visual and written media.
The dinner and ceremony to honor the inductees is open to the public and will be held Sept. 12 at the Ramada Riverside in Casper in conjunction with the annual Wyoming Hunting & Fishing Heritage Expo. Tickets can be purchased for $30 by calling the foundation at (307) 777-4529. Complimentary tickets are available for Expo volunteers.
Salveson said the purpose of the Hall of Fame is to educate the public and promote the significance of Wyoming’s rich wildlife heritage.
Started in 2004, the inaugural class included Curt Gowdy, Calvin King, Frank and Lois Layton, Olaus and Mardy Murie, D.C. Nowlin and President Theodore Roosevelt. The 2005 class inducted Dr. Tom Thorne and Dr. Beth Williams, Paul Petzoldt, George Bird Grinnell and James R. Simon. The 2006 class featured Sam Mavrakis, Tom Bell, Floyd Blunt and Frank and John Craighead. Last year’s class inducted Chuck Ward, Bert and Meg Raynes, Finis Mitchell and Hans Kleiber.
For more information contact: "Mo" Salveson (307) 777-4529.