Larry Smith is a graduate of Cornell University with a long and outstanding career as a Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. During his 33-year career, Smith was instrumental in the acquisition of more than 70,000 acres of Texas Gulf Coast marshland for addition to the National Wildlife Refuge System. He authored or co-authored nine flyway management plans for waterfowl and cranes in the Central and Pacific flyways.
As a Fish and Wildlife Refuge Manager at two National Wildlife Refuges in the state of New York, Montezuma NWR (1953-1958) and Iroquois NWR (1958-1973), Larry Smith developed successful refuge programs and improved thousands of acres of waterfowl habitat.
In 1975, he was appointed to the Whooping Crane Recovery Team and served as the team leader from 1980 to 1984. Smith played a key role in the development and implementation of the whooping crane foster parent program in the Rocky Mountains. He also led the team to experiment with radio-tracking of migrant whooping cranes.
Smith coordinated a contingency plan for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during an oil spill which threatened the survival of several endangered species along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Larry Smith retired in 1985 and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He remains committed to the recovery of whooping cranes and serves as President of the Whooping Crane Conservation Association, a non – profit group dedicated to the conservation, protection, and propagation of the whooping crane population through public programs and the activities of its members.
‘The future of the Florida reintroduction looks bright. I am optimistic that we will have whooping cranes around for a long, long time’.