Jahn, Laurence R. (Deceased)
Larry was born on June 24, 1926, on a dairy farm near Jefferson, Wisconsin. Interests in nature were honed by his parents who, among other outdoor activities, gardened, fished, hunted, and protected two large groves of shagbark hickory trees and marketed the nutmeats yearly. Building homemade rafts from tree limbs to float reaches of the Rock River near the farm further stimulated his interests in and appreciation of the outdoors. Upon completion of World War II Navy service, Larry attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a BS degree in zoology in 1949, an MS degree in 1958, and a PhD degree in 1965, the latter two in wildlife ecology. As an aquatic biologist from 1949 to 1959 with the Wisconsin Conservation Department, he had statewide responsibilities for migratory waterfowl and aquatic habitats. Population and habitat surveys and studies led to the establishment of a system of management areas in Wisconsin to accommodate migrant Canada geese, enhance production of resident waterfowl, and improve management of the geese that congregated at Horicon Marsh. Larry joined the Wildlife Management Institute as its North Central field representative in 1959, moved to Washington, D.C., in 1970, and retired as president and board chairman in 1991. His persistent conservation efforts contributed to establishing new wetland, flood plain, shore land, stream, and watershed management policies in the 1960s to the 1980s, and integrating stronger conservation provisions in several agriculture acts, but especially in 1985. Larry worked closely with many individuals from a variety of agencies and organizations to improve the administration, planning, research and management of land, water, fish, wildlife, and related natural resources. Larry provided services to a broad spectrum of boards and advisory committees of state, national, and international organizations, including federal, provincial, and state natural resource agencies. He was chairman from 1972 to 1988 of the annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, and responsible for planning and staging this conference, held in different principal cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and customarily attended by 1,200 or more resource researchers, managers, administrators, educators, and graduate students. He authored numerous papers and reports, and assisted in editing and publishing a number of awardwinning books on wildlife ecology and management. His contributions to advancing integrated management of natural resources have been recognized by professional, educational, and private organizations, as well as federal, provincial, and state governments. He received the wildlife profession’s highest honor in 1989, when he was awarded the Aldo Leopold Medal by The Wildlife Society. In 1991, he received the Barbara Swain Award of Honor from the Natural Resources Council of America. Larry was a certified wildlife biologist and dedicated conservationist continuing to reside in Vienna, Virginia, after retirement in 1991. He remained active in conservation affairs through his own consulting services on natural resources management. Activities in the 1990s included serving as a member (1992-96) and chairman (1993-94) of Virginia’s Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, and liaison officer (1992) for the National Association of University Fisheries and Wildlife Programs. He was elected to the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1977 and served on several committees. Larry was an outdoorsman who enjoyed hiking, fishing, hunting, photographing, and “reading” the landscape when afield. He believed firmly that well-designed, responsible, sustainable management of the resource base is essential to guide human activities, avoid substantial mitigation and restoration costs, and perpetuate responsible uses of plants and animals for current and future generations. Larry died in August 2000.