Biography — Lowell E. Baier
Lowell E. Baier’s intellectual curiosity during his almost 60-year career has taken him from a practicing attorney, to an entrepreneur, a tireless advocate for natural resources and wildlife conservation, and a legal and environmental historian and author. Baier continues contemporaneously to practice law, specializing in wildlife conservation and natural resource policy, legislation and regulation, and writes extensively on these subjects.
Baier’s lifelong passion for protecting the country’s natural resources and wildlife conservation began during his childhood while growing up on a farm in northern Indiana and spending time on his grandfather’s homestead ranch in Montana. Those childhood experiences led Baier as an adult to begin scientifically observing and documenting wildlife and its habitats on extensive treks and expeditions in the mountains and wilderness regions across North America, the Pamirs and Caucasus of Russia, and Mongolia’s Gobi Desert and Altai Mountains, providing him with first-hand observations of wildlife and man’s interactions around the globe.
Baier received his Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Valparaiso University in 1961 and completed his law degree in 1964 at the Indiana University School of Law where he earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence. He also holds an honorary Doctorate of Law and Letters degree awarded in 2010 by Rocky Mountain College, a Doctorate of Humane Letters awarded in 2015 by Indiana University, and a Doctorate of Public Service awarded in 2019 by Valparaiso University. The Indiana University (IU) School of Law presented him with its Distinguished Service Award in 2007. In 2014, he was inducted into the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows, the highest honor the IU Law School can bestow on an alumnus. In 2015, the IU School of Law building was named Baier Hall in his honor. He was awarded the Indiana University Bicentennial Medal in 2020.
After graduating in 1961, he began practicing law in Washington, D.C., a city he’d grown to love when, in 1956, his congressman, Charles A. Halleck (R-Ind.), called him to be a page boy in the U.S. House of Representatives after becoming an Eagle Scout. He was awarded the recognition of a Distinguished Eagle Scout in 2015.
A recognized advisor to elected officials and educators on environmental and conservation issues, Baier took the lead in drafting President George H.W. Bush’s wildlife conservation agenda in 1989, and has been an advisor and counselor to all successive presidential administrations. Between 1992 and 2010, Baier was heavily involved in the creation of Doctor of Philosophy programs at four universities dedicated to postgraduate studies in natural resources and wildlife conservation management.
From 2004 to 2007, he led a national campaign to raise $6.5 million to purchase on behalf of the federal government the last and largest remaining piece of privately held land (24,550 acres) that was initially Theodore Roosevelt’s historic Elkhorn Ranch established in 1884 and adjacent to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The purchase virtually expanded the national park by one-third. The Elkhorn is popularly called the “Cradle of Conservation” and the “Walden Pond of the American West” since Theodore Roosevelt conceived the cornerstones of the American conservation movement between 1884 and 1887 as we know it today.
Throughout his career, Baier has tirelessly served on numerous boards and commissions for both local and federal governments, associations and foundations. Presently, he serves on the Theodore Roosevelt Association Executive Committee and the President’s Council of the National Wildlife Federation, is president emeritus of the Boone and Crockett Club, one of four founders of the National Conservation Leadership Institute, one of 12 members of the Conservation Leadership Council sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and is a member of the Roosevelt Conservation Round Table. He is a member of both the Explorers Club and the Cosmos Club.
Baier has been recognized many times for his extraordinary public service at the local level, and for his conservation work nationally. He was Rockville, Maryland’s Citizen of the Year in 1986. In 2008, he was named Conservationist of the Year by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. In 2010, Outdoor Life magazine selected Baier as the Conservationist of the Year, and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies similarly recognized him in 2013. In 2016, the National Wildlife Federation did likewise. In 2018, he was one of four judges chosen to select the 2019 Duck Stamp image (a Wood Duck) by the Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.