Roger J. Blain, 70, passed away at his home in Sisters, Ore., on Feb. 26, 2017. He was born in Warrenton, Va., and developed a love of nature during the summers he spent on his grandparents’ farm.
Following his service in the U.S. Army, he began a career in the National Park Service. As a law-enforcement ranger he was involved in emergency medical services, search and rescue, and naturalist activities. He enjoyed working in Kings Canyon and Sequoia, Everglades, Acadia, and Olympic national parks.
Roger’s commitment to and compassion for wildlife and the people who come to enjoy America’s national parks resulted in an outstanding achievement award from the Daughters of the American Revolution National Conservation Committee. In 1999, he retired as the Quinault District Ranger at Olympic National Park.
A Master Falconer, Roger envisioned and created the nonprofit Raptor Recovery Center in Otter Creek, Maine, where injured birds of prey were rehabilitated.
In America’s Rain Forest in Lake Quinault he started Rain Forest Guide Services to provide fly-fishing instruction, guided fishing and naturalist tours. He touched many lives and left people with wonderful memories.
As Interpretation and Activities Director he developed the lake and rain-forest tours for Lake Quinault Lodge, as well as creating and organizing festivals and events. He became a sanctioned trainer of certified interpretive guides.
Recently, Roger was elated to publish his book “Why Salmon Cry” as part of his legacy. His greatest wish for his book was that children would grow up with the commitment to saving our wild salmon.
He was inquisitive and embraced life and all it has to offer. As a certified Master Gardener, Roger loved landscaping. His other interests included photography, kayaking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, camping, llama packing and international travel.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Leslie, his brother Ron of Texas, sister Vickie of Florida, as well as his companion animal family. His kind, compassionate and gentle spirit will be greatly missed.
Plans are being made for a celebration of life. In lieu of flowers please send remembrances to The High Desert Museum, 59800 S Hwy 97, Bend, OR 97702 Attn: Birds of Prey Center.