Ted Trueblood

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Cecil Whittaker "Ted" Trueblood (1913-1982) was an outdoor writer and conservationist. From 1941 to 1982, he was an editor and writer for Field & Stream magazine. Born in Boise, Idaho, on June 25, 1913, he grew up on the family farm near Homedale and graduated from Wilder High School in 1931. Drawn to writing about the outdoor life, he published his first article in National Sportsman magazine in 1931. He attended both the College of Idaho (at Caldwell) and the University of Idaho (at Moscow), but left before earning his degree.

In 1936, he became a reporter for the Boise Capital News. In 1937, he became a reporter for the Deseret News in Salt Lake City. From there, he began writing articles for Field & Stream. He returned to Idaho in 1939 and married Ellen Michaelson. Together they had two sons, Dan and Jack. After struggling as a freelancer, Trueblood took a public relations position with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. He became fishing editor of Field & Stream in 1941 and moved to New York City. In 1947, he moved back to Idaho in order to "fish, hunt, and write about it." From his home in Nampa, he remained an associate editor and contributor to Field & Stream, and continued writing articles for the magazine throughout his life. In addition to his magazine work, he also wrote several books about the outdoors (often based on his articles): The Angler's Handbook (1949), The Fishing Handbook (1951), On Hunting (1953), The Hunter's Handbook (1954), How to Catch More Fish (1955), Camping Handbook (1955), and The Ted Trueblood Hunting Treasury (1978).

Perhaps more important to Idahoans was Trueblood's work as a conservation leader. In 1936, he helped to organize the Idaho Wildlife Federation, the state's major conservation group in the mid-twentieth century. Trueblood often helped the Federation fight many of its conservation battles. One of their most significant victories, in the 1950s, was the successful campaign to protect Idaho's salmon and steelhead trout by stopping the construction of Nez Perce Dam on the Snake River, which would have blocked the migration of fish up the undammed Salmon River. Trueblood advocated for the creation of the River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho, and worked to oppose the anti-environmental "Sagebrush Rebellion" in 1980. His conservation work was honored with several awards, including a 1975 Conservation Service Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior and the 1975 Outdoorsman of the Year award from the Outdoor Writers of America.

Painful and terminal bone cancer led Trueblood to kill himself at the age of 69 on September 12, 1982. He died of a gunshot wound to the head.

His life of conservation leadership is commemorated by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's Ted Trueblood Wildlife Area, near Grandview. In 1991, the newly organized Boise chapter of Trout Unlimited named itself the "Ted Trueblood Chapter."

His papers are housed in the Albertsons Library at Boise State University.

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