International Crane Foundation


Remembering Jim Harris

  • For everyone who knew Jim, we will always remember his laugh. It crossed cultural and language barriers and reminded us of our shared humanity – and that we could laugh at life too!

    - Sara Gavney Moore

  • Jim was such a gentle man, a true gentleman and most considerate host during my visit to Baraboo, and attendance at the ICF Board meeting in Milwaukee, in 2016.  His love of his own family, his ICF family and the cranes shone through in every word and action.  May his legacy inspire us all to continue the important work of conserving cranes, biodiversity and the environment in general.

    Mandy Poole
    Chief Operations Officer
    The Endangered Wildlife Trust
    South Africa

    - Mandy Poole

  • Jim is my  first host at ICF when I was an Aviculture Intern during the fall of 1987. He was a persona behind to initiate Sarus Crane Conservation in Nepal. Jim is my mentor, a friend and a great birding partner. Jim Harris with support from George Archibald and Rich Beilfuss  established Lumbini Crane Sanctuary in the birthplace of Lord Buddha by leasing a plot land from Lumbini Development Trust. In 1994. Nepali Crane conservationists shall miss his warm personality and professional crane conservation advice. Great knowing you Jim.

    - Rajendra Suwal

  • Jim Harris and I grew up in Pelham, Massachusetts. He was a fellow who was both at an extraordinary level of intelligence and the most caring and friendly person that I ever knew. I know his enormous efforts dedicated to the well being of cranes throughout the world will be an incredible legacy.

    - Edwin Knihnicki

  • I only worked in the Education Dept. for a couple seasons, but every time tall Jim passed by short Lyn he always stopped & asked what happy task I was engaged in that day. I always appreciated his genuine interest.

    - Lyn Lorenz

  • I only worked in the Education Dept. for a couple seasons, but every time tall Jim passed by short Lyn he always stopped & asked what happy task I was engaged in that day. I always appreciated his genuine interest.

    - Lyn Lorenz

  • How could any of us forget Jim's infectious laugh? He was a kind and wonderful human. Though Jim and I shared quite a few memories together during my time as an intern at ICF, what I remember most about him was how proud he was of his son's poetry. He shared one of Steve's poems with me in every email he sent to me along with an accompanying story. I could talk to Jim about anything and I deeply appreciate the time I had with him.

    - Danielle Bunch

  • I first met Jim while working for the Environmental Resources Unit of Extension in the early 1980s. I came to know him again at the end of the 1980s when I volunteered to help design and build the Ron Sauey Memorial Library for Bird Conservation. He was my strongest ally in my dream to building a professional technical research information center that could serve crane researchers, students and crane lovers all over the world. He understood that a library could mean so much more than a room with books in it. I believe the library and the talented librarians that have worked to build the research library have succeeded in this dream.

    I also will miss the beautiful way Jim could tell a story. His word pictures and sensitive prose really helped to capture the magic of cranes.

    - Barbara J Arnold

  • There is so much more bloodroot this year than I have ever seen before! Every year we walked at Baxter's Hollow to find it. This year I didn't go because you weren't there to go with me. Maybe next year....
  • Hello,

    I worked at ICF for 17 years. I often took Jim to the Dane County Airport for his flights to China.  He always had interesting stories to share weeks later upon me picking him up at the airport.

    He was a kind and gentle soul and he made ICF a pleasure to work for.

    Michael G. Schwerman

    - Michael Schwerman

  • I was honored to work with Jim during my internship with the Education Department in the summer of 1984. Words are inadequate to express the profound effect that summer, and our relationship, had on the rest of my life. I was on the cusp of adulthood, trying to find my way in the world. Jim was kind enough to accept me as I was and thoughtful enough treat me like the person I was still struggling to become. He modeled how to be that person: knowledgeable about a little bit of everything, engaged with the community and the world, good work ethic but also a good play ethic. I remember his laugh lightening the serious moments, learning that broccoli could be a pizza topping, discovering the squeakiness of cheese curds, and mostly his gentle, wise guidance.

    - Diana Griffiths Osborn

  • I knew Jim Harris since I was an undergraduate in the Northeast forestry university, China. He was a gentle and thoughtful man, encouraging and supporting mentor, persistent and dedicated conservationist. The love of natural and birds so does the love to his family, was deeply rooted in his blood. Even the argument between him and Liying about “which crane is the most beautiful one” was full of joy and happiness. I’m deeply appreciating to knew him, treasuring everything I’ve learned from him and acknowledging all the efforts he has made for Chinese Cranes and wetland as a Chinese.

    - Yachang Cheng