Ligon's Ride Guest Speakers: Harley Shaw and Mara Weisenberger
AWF is pleased to announce a special program for our September meeting. Harley G. Shaw and Mara E. Weisenberger are co-authors of the soon-to-be-released Twelve Hundred Miles by Horse and Burro: J. Stokely Ligon and New Mexico's First Breeding Bird Survey, and they will offer us an insider's peek at this brand new history of a pioneer conservationist in the Southwest. And they will bring 10 early copies of the book, too!
J. Stokley Ligon was a peer of early wildlife biologists Aldo Leopold and Elliott Barker. He was a self-made naturalist who grew up in a west Texas ranching family. From 1900 on he carried a large format camera wherever he went and left some 3000 photos in various collections. He was hired by the U. S. Biological Survey in 1913 to carry out a statewide survey of nesting waterfowl in New Mexico, which he did on horseback with two pack burros. He left photos and a daily diary and written report of this survey. Our speakers will focus on this journey during which Ligon rode some 1200 miles over the course of the summer. Using his original itinerary and handwritten report, the authors revisited many of the places that Ligon surveyed and in a few cases were even able to locate and repeat Ligon's early photographs, many of which will be highlighted in their presentation.
Harley Shaw retired from Arizona Game and Fish Department in 1990, after 27 years as a research biologist. During his tenure with that department, he worked on white-winged doves, mule deer, Merriam's wild turkey, mountain lions, and desert bighorn. Since retiring he has continued to write and carry out contract research. His popular publications include Soul Among Lions, an account of his eight years doing mountain lion research, and Stalking the Big Bird, tales of studies of Merriam's turkey. Shaw's interests have increasingly focused on history of wildlife management in the Southwest, and he is currently doing research for a book on the Animas Creek watershed in New Mexico's Black Range.