OBITUARIES

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1993:

Boonlerd Angsirijinda, Thai chief of wildlife law enforcement until his death
in September 1992, is remembered in the spring 1993 issue of Friends of Animals’
Action Line for his “indomitable spirit and great reservoir of personal courage.”
Boonlerd suffered a fatal stroke while studying U.S. law enforcement methods in
Washington D.C.––after surviving numerous attempts on his life by animal traffickers,
many of whom he jailed despite weak wildlife laws and flagrant corruption under the
former Thai military dictatorship. In 1991 Boonlerd obtained an international boycott of
trade with Thailand under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species,
which led to the 1992 closure of the notorious Bangkok animal market.

Ornithologist Humphrey Olsen is memorialized in the current edition of
Snowy Egret, a literary magazine dedicated to “the cultural aspects of natural history,”
which he founded with his elder brother Richard in 1922, under the title Bird World,
and edited until 1987, when he transferred the publication to current editor Karl
Barnebey. Born in 1909, Olsen died December 31, 1991. Only 13 when Snowy Egret
commenced, Olsen was already a fluent writer and astute amateur naturalist. Early edi-
tions of Snowy Egretaccurately noted the loss of native birds from the midwest, includ-
ing interviews with men who remembered the squab hunts and captive bird shoots that
exterminated the passenger pigeon. After a seven-year hiatus brought on by World War
II and family duties, Snowy Egret helped to discover and give voice to the generation of
nature writers who in turn helped to create the contemporary environmental and animal
protection movements. Circulation never rose
above a few hundred, perhaps due to Olsen’s low-
key style, which included hand-mimeographing
every issue because he believed this was the most
ecological means of publishing. Olsen also made a
lifelong habit of dropping everything to watch birds,
and spent years compiling an unpublished biogra-
phy of pioneer ornithologist Alexander Wilson, a
longtime rival of John J. Aububon whom Olsen con-
sidered unfairly treated by historians. Despite the
low circulation and Olsen’s myriad other interests,
Edward Abbey and Barry Commoner were just two
of many now well-known environmentalists to
whom Snowy Egret provided vital early exposure.
Others Olsen encouraged include ANIMAL PEO-
PLE editor Merritt Clifton and reviewers Cathy
Young Czapla and P.J. Kemp (who served as staff
artist 1976-1985). Under Barnebey, Snowy Egret
switched to offset printing and has become a distin-
guished vehicle for graphic artists, as well as con-
tinuing Olsen’s literary tradition. Subscriptions are
$12/year (2 issues), c/o Barnebey, English Dept.,
Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 47809.
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