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1 October 2013 In Memoriam: Henry Milton Reeves, 1927–2013
C. Stuart Houston, Clait E. Braun
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Henry Milton Reeves died unexpectedly on 1 February 2013. He was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, on 31 March 1927, graduated from high school in Haddonfield, New Jersey, and served in the U.S. Navy. Milt received an M.S. in wildlife management in 1954 from Utah State College in Logan. His thesis, “Muskrat and waterfowl production and harvest on Dingle Marsh, Idaho,” led to the eventual designation of Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Milt married Merilyn Bronson in June 1952. He was employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Texas, South Dakota, Minnesota, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. He joined the AOU in 1955, became an Elective Member in 2002, and wrote Auk memorials for Ira Gabrielson and George Saunders.

While a game management agent in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas from 1954 to 1957, Milt also banded waterfowl in Saskatchewan for three summers. He served as a Wildlife Biologist–Wetlands Program Supervisor, Section Chief of Migratory Upland Game Bird Studies, and Chief of Migratory Game Bird Studies. He was Assistant Chief (1972) and Chief (1976–1983) of the Branch of Operations in the Office of Migratory Bird Management.

Milt implemented and later wrote regulations to manage and protect migratory ducks and other game birds. In 1975, he helped prepare the first USFWS “Environmental Impact Statement” on the effects of hunting and was one of four co-editors of Flyways: Pioneering Waterfowl Management in North America in 1984. He authored or co-authored 56 articles for diverse scientific journals and prepared annual migratory game bird documents in the Federal Register to ensure compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

After retiring in 1983, he built the family's retirement home in Oregon, made furniture, and continued his lifelong interest in historical research. He wrote chapters in a series of books published by the Wildlife Management Institute on the ecology and management of Wood Ducks, Mourning Doves, elk, moose, and pronghorn.

Milt was both a historical sleuth and an instigator. He visited the Thomas Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to view the illustrations of birds, mammals, and fish, drawn in Quebec in 1664– 1675, by Louis Nicolas, S.J., and purchased by Thomas Gilcrease in 1949. The Nicolas manuscript was in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, France. Milt wrote an article about Nicolas in Archives of Natural History and believed that the entire manuscript and drawings should be translated into English and published. At the Society of Canadian Ornithologists meeting in Saskatoon in October 2003, Milt Reeves, aided by François-Marc Gagnon and Stuart Houston, enlisted Nancy Senior as translator and thereby initiated the future path of the project. The Codex Canadensis, a sumptuous 8-pound tome, appeared in print to rave reviews late in 2011. “These manuscripts…are unique both for their age (c. 1675) and for the richness of their content…. [and are] extraordinary early records of New World natural history.” The Codex received the Canadian Governor-General's medal in December 2012.

In June 2012, Milt and Merilyn celebrated 60 years of marriage. Merilyn, his two sons, two daughters, and six grandchildren and many friends will miss his love, sense of humor, intelligence, and many talents. McMinnville (Oregon) News Register readers may miss his pointed and whimsical letters to the editor. He left behind an unpublished history of market hunting and methods of taking or capturing waterfowl.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Quinney Natural Resources Library, 5260 Old Main Hill, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322-5200, USA. Milt's scientific journals, professional books, and journal articles have been donated to the Quinney Library.

©The American Ornithologists' Union, 2013.
C. Stuart Houston and Clait E. Braun "In Memoriam: Henry Milton Reeves, 1927–2013," The Auk 130(4), 813, (1 October 2013).
Published: 1 October 2013
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