The Peregrine Fund Remembers Morley
Morley Nelson was, among many things, a longtime friend and Board member of The
Peregrine Fund. Although space prevents our detailing Morley’s many accomplish-
ments, we provide the following abbreviated list:
Identication and establishment of the Snake River Birds of Prey Area
It was Morley who, after having returned home as a decorated war hero, recognized
the unique biological importance of that area for birds of prey and effectively worked
for its protection and various designations, with it eventually being established by the
Congress as a National Conservation Area.
Changing the attitude of Americans toward birds of prey
Morley, in cooperation with friends, lmmakers, government, and others, helped es-
tablish regulations protecting birds of prey and changed the attitude of Americans to-
ward raptors, reducing human persecution.
Preventing electrocution of raptors
Morley recognized the long-standing problem of raptor electrocution and associated
power outages, and even resulting wildres. In cooperation with Idaho Power Com-
pany, and later other utilities, he accomplished research, helped develop guards, and
redesigned distribution power lines to reduce electrocution. These efforts have contin-
ued and are now in effect globally.
Establishing the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho
It was at Morley’s insistence that, when looking for a location to establish a head-
quarters, The Peregrine Fund considered and eventually chose Boise, Idaho. Morley
worked with Governor John Evans, Mayor Dick Eardley and the Boise City Council,
the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Fish and Game Department, President John
Keiser of Boise State University, and Boise-based corporations and local citizens to
nd a location for the facility and to provide other assistance to bring The Peregrine
Fund to Idaho.
Morley not only conducted research on birds of prey, but as a trained hydrologist and
snow survey supervisor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation
Service he established snow surveys to forecast the water supply for Idaho and the
Columbia Basin, benetting farming, hydro-electric utilities, and others dependent
upon water run-off. His achievements appear in college hydrology textbooks.
Dorothy Anderson, Mr. and Mrs. Dave Arellano, Stephanie Herrick Ball, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Barton, Lee Bass,
Elizabeth Bauer, Edith Benson, Karen Brender, Mr. and Mrs. Boyd Brown, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Brown, Heidi
Bunting and David Brand, Carolyn Spicer Burke, Bill and Pat Burnham, Mr. and Mrs. George Cawthon, J.M.
Clark, Mr. and Mrs. John G. Collias, The Copsey Family, Bryan Culbertson, Genevieve M. David, Mr. and Mrs.
James W. Davis, Mr. and Mrs. James DeWitt, Mr. and Mrs. John Doremus, Mr. and Mrs. David Eagleton, Mr.
and Mrs. Gayle Ernest, Mr. and Mrs. Don Farley, Mr. and Mrs. Russ Fereday, James H. Frazier, Marcia Glenn,
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Greenwood, Walter Hankins, Ruth Harris, Thomas and Christine Hays, Arlene and Ed
Hester, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Higgins, Mr. Ken Higgins, Richard Howard, Alfred Janssen, M. Louise Jones, Marilyn
Krahn, Mr. and Mrs. Logan Lanham, Connie Leavitt, Jennifer Lynn Liberty, Mr. and Mrs. Dale Lloyd, Kelly Madi-
son, Amy Maguire, Mr. and Mrs. John Mather, Mr. and Mrs. William Matthews, William and Joan Mattox, Mr. and Mrs. J.P.McMurray, Connie McReynolds, Susan Merry, Min-
nesota Falconers Association, Stewart Morris, Velma Morrison, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Nichols, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Ondr, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Partridge, Mr. and Mrs. Robert
Paterson, Petal Pushers Garden Club, Peter Quincy and Deborah Fritz-Quincy, Peter Ringold, Pearl Simon, Thomas Stewart, Tallant Family, The Tertling Company, Robert
Teufel, Richard Thorsell, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Vandenburg, Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, Mr. and Mrs. Ron Winans, Mr. and Mrs. Gray Young
Filmmaker and actor
Morley participated in making, and co-starred in, numerous wildlife lms throughout
his career, including for Disney and Wild Kingdom. Through his own company, Tun-
dra Films, he produced what are now considered classic lms on falconry and birds
of prey. Working with his children’s company, Echo Films, he went on to participate in
production of many other lms. These lms were viewed by many millions of people
and inuenced their understanding and concern for our natural world.
These are measurable achievements, any one of which is signicant. The immeasur-
able contributions made by Morley may, however, actually be his most important lega-
cy. His actions and enthusiasm for nature and life inspired untold numbers of people,
both young and old. We will never know how many people he inuenced have and will
go on to careers contributing to nature conservation in this nation and internationally.
In honor of Morley and his contributions to the Nation and birds of prey, at the recom-
mendation of The Peregrine Fund, and with community suport spearheaded by Dr. Wil-
liam Mattox, the Idaho Congressional delegation introduced a bill in the Congress of
the United States to establish the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National
Conservation Area. On March 30, 2009 by Presidential signature, the legislative bill be-
came law. The canyon he loved now carries his name and marks Morley’s place in his-
tory among the great conservationists of the 20th Century.