Letters to the Editor

Cade Letter: John Craighead

Rocky Barker’s informative account on Sept. 23 of the outstanding careers of the twin brothers, and conservationists, John Craighead dead at 100 and Frank, earlier at 85, focused mainly on their controversial actions regarding the management of grizzly bears in Yellowstone with scant attention to their earlier activities with birds of prey. They were falconers in their teen years and early adulthood in the 1930s and early 1940s, when the sport of falconry was still in its infancy in North America. Their early publications in National Geographic and their book “Hawks in the Hand” (1939) stimulated many young boys, myself included, and even grown men to become falconers and to pursue interests in the natural history of raptors. Following WWII they completed doctoral dissertations on the community ecology of raptors in Pennsylvania and Wyoming, setting the stage for many subsequent ecological studies on raptors.

At the World Center for Birds of Prey, looking out over Treasure Valley, Frank Craighead’s name has been on our Wall of Remembrance at the Falconry Archives for several years waiting for John’s name to go up side by side, a fitting tribute to brothers who worked so closely together for nature preservation.

Tom Cade, Boise