Jim Huckabay grew up in the West, blessed with parents who understood. When he needed to be outdoors, somewhere, they never questioned him: they just held the door open. From that space, he never stopped hunting and fishing and weighing random thoughts about the outdoors and wildlife and humans ... about the geography of places and connection and spirit. After a stint in the U.S. Air Force, he landed in Denver in 1963. He completed a BA in geography and speech/dramatics in 1969, at the University of Colorado in Denver. He earned an MA in geography and geology in 1970. Except for a three-year trip to the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, for a Ph.D. in Geography and Meteorology (awarded in 1975), Jim stayed in the Denver area, where he taught at the University of Colorado at Denver until 1979.
In 1978, he opened an environmental consulting business, working for a variety of mining and energy companies. He also worked with a number of Colorado's wildlife and sportsmen's organizations. During the 1980s, he worked as a radio/TV weatherman, had a weekly radio program (The Rockies Outdoors) and syndicated a daily three-minute radio program (Inside the Out-doors) to 50 stations in nine western states. Beginning in the early '80s, Jim taught meditation and worked as a healer in the Denver area. He is an ordained practitioner/minister with Church of Gaia?The Council of Six Directions (an IRS qualified church), and continues to offer regular services, which are held at the Roslyn Theater on 1st and 3rd Sundays from November through April. Over the past decade or so, Jim has written hundreds of newspaper columns, and researched and written another 150 or so watchable wildlife features, brochures, publications and training documents. His award-winning newspaper column "Inside the Outdoors" has appeared in weekly newspapers in the Denver area, and here in Ellensburg. It is from that column that the essays in his new book WILD WINDS and Other Tales of Growing Up in the Outdoor West were drawn. Another book, Conversations With an Old Mountain Man, is awaiting a publication decision at a small publishing house in upstate New York. Jim lives in Cle Elum, here in Kittitas County.