(Jim) Bailey grew up in Chicago where library books created
an interest in a career-path toward forestry. However, while
completing a BSc degree (1956) in forestry at Michigan College
of Mining and Technology (now Michigan Tech University),
he discovered the profession of wildlife management. This
led to graduate work in forest-zoology at the State University
of New York, College of Forestry at Syracuse University.
For his MSc degree (1958) he studied
wildlife use of conifer plantations in upstate New York.
Continuing graduate work at the University of Michigan was
terminated by his draft board. He married the former Natalie
Ann Jewett and they spent the army years together in Maryland
where Jim was stationed at the Army Chemical Center studying
wound bacteriology. Thus, one of Bailey’s earliest
publications is in the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical
Following army service, Jim returned
to the College of Forestry at Syracuse during 1962-64. His
PhD research investigated ecological variation of crude
protein levels in witch-hobble deer browse in the Adirondack
Mountains. The thesis was written in absentia and the degree
awarded in 1966.
During 1964-68, Bailey studied cottontail
rabbits at the Illinois Natural History Survey. He credits
much honing of his writing skills to his association with
editors of the Journal of Wildlife Management at the Survey.
Cottontail research stimulated his interest in mammal nutrition
Bailey left the flatlands of central
Illinois for the Rocky Mountains in 1968. He served as instructor
in wildlife management at the University of Montana, 1968-69,
and landed an instructorship at Colorado State University
in 1969. At Colorado State, he taught Principles of Wildlife
Management, Wildlife Nutrition, Big Game Management, and
Population Dynamics, among other courses. He was senior
editor, assembling the book, Readings in Wildlife Conservation
for The Wildlife Society in 1974, and published Principles
of Wildlife Management with John Wiley & Sons in 1984.
Bailey mentored several graduate students
at Colorado State, concentrating research on wild ungulates,
especially bighorn sheep and mountain goats. Many resulting
publications have graduate students as senior authors as
Bailey considered publication to be an essential step toward
launching their careers. He retired from Colorado State
as a full professor in 1990.
Exchanging the ivory tower for the “real
world”, Jim served as assistant director of the Conservation
Services Division in the New Mexico Department of Game and
Fish during 1993-98. He oversaw state programs for endangered
species, habitat conservation and watchable wildlife.
In retirement, Jim has remained active with wildlife conservation
issues, first in Santa Fe and now in Montana. An interest
in bison produced the book: American Plains Bison: Rewilding
an Icon in 2013. Over the years, he has written or contributed
to over 70 publications in wildlife biology and management
– in peer-reviewed and other media. In his final years,
he hopes to leave a legacy through commentaries and essays
on his website: Wildlife Management: We Can Do Better.