Well-known conservationist from Ogden missing in Yellowstone National Park
OGDEN – One man was found dead and a man from Ogden was missing search and rescue crews said Tuesday, two days after their family reported them overdue from a four-night backcountry trip to Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone National Park.
On Sunday family reported Kim Crumbo and his half-brother Mark O’Neill still had not returned from Shoshone lake in Wyoming. The same day rescue crews found an empty campsite, gear and a canoe on the south side of the lake.
Then Monday, they found the body of O’Neill along the east shore. O’Neill was a National Park Service retiree from Washington. Crumbo is still missing.
“I can imagine a million reasons why he would be going out on that adventure and with his family,” said Katie Davis, executive director of Wildlands Network and a colleague and friend of Crumbo.
“He really valued family and he really valued being outside. So, the combination is sort of perfect.”
Davis says Crumbo was her mentor when she joined Wildlands Network in 2016.
“He was one of the reasons why I came to work for Wildlands Network was because he was just so passionate,” Davis said. “He would do this work day and night no matter who it was for, who was paying him or wasn’t paying him. Kim, like this is his passion and this is what I think he feels he’s called to do.”
Before his conservation work at the office in Salt Lake, Crumbo served as a Navy Seal and worked in the National Park Service. Davis said he used to run river trips. His experience makes the current search all the more shocking because “of all the people to be lost or missing it would not have been Kim.”
“Kim was the steady hand. Had it under control. Had a martini packed. Had it all. It was all good,” she said. “He was just the person you wanted to have on your trip. He was very adept at navigating water in the wild.”
Davis says Crumbo’s love of nature lead to a life dedicated to wildlife conservation. She said he has connections with nearly every conservation organization around the country. She described him as being a “voice for the wild. A voice for the voiceless.”
“He’s just a very strong presence across the conservation community. Holds a lot of institutional knowledge.”
That close-knit community is now left waiting and hoping that their friend and colleague will be back home soon, continuing his conservation work.
“I think everyone is feeling a personal need to share the news and to just collectively process this together because its so shocking,” she said.
Davis says Crumbo’s values include the outdoors, service and family. He is a husband, father and grandfather.
“They’re just really wonderful people. Like just genuinely wonderful, kind, caring people,” she said.
According to Yellowstone National Park:“Shoshone Lake, the park’s second-largest lake, is located at the head of the Lewis River southwest of West Thumb. At 8,050 acres (3,258 ha), its average year-round temperature is about 48 F (9 C). Survival time is estimated to be only 20 to 30 minutes in water of this temperature.”
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