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Fun Fact Friday with Special Collections

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Today we are highlighting one of our newer collections, the Jacob Valentine Collection.

Jacob Valentine was a biologist based out of Lafayette Louisiana. A native of Racine, Wisconsin, he served in the U.S. Army in Louisiana, Australia, and New Guinea from 1941-1945. He received a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, majoring in zoology, botany, and wildlife management. In 1950, he entered the Fish and Wildlife Service and held the positions of Refuge Manager at Slade National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota (1950-1955); Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia (1955-1958); and South Florida National Wildlife Refuges (1958-1960). He served as Gulf Coast Management Biologist for Refuges in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas from 1960 to 1981 when he retired. During this time, he was also on the staff of the Biology Department at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Valentine wrote papers on the cattle egret, marsh ecology, alligators, and the Mississippi Sandhill crane. One of his early assignments was an investigation into the effects of the building of Interstate 10 on the Sandhill Crane population in Jackson Country, Mississippi. With severe habitat decline and other problems, he realized the cranes were at great risk and called for a refuge. In the 1970s during the ensuing “cranes and lanes” controversy, stoppage of I-10 construction, and a case in federal court, his expertise, courage, and determination led to the creation of the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge. He continued his involvement with the cranes and refuge after his retirement in 1980, spanning over 30 years. He won the Walkinshaw Award for lifetime achievement in crane conservation in 1996.

This collection contains Valentine’s professional files that chronicle his work while in Louisiana. These files include notes, papers, news clippings, and photographs.

Collection 531 - Jacob M. Valentine Papers

Special Collections - Jacob Valentine

View more photos on the Special Collections Facebook Page.

Fun Fact Friday is brought to you by Special Collections.