As a student at the University of Alaska, Kim had a ’56 Rambler that could only go forward—reverse was trashed—and a landlord who let him run his hard-charging sled dog team (again, only forward, with no reverse possible).
That kind of describes the arc of Kim’s professional career—keep moving forward to see where life takes you. As a newspaper guy, he was news editor at daily Alaska papers in Fairbanks and Anchorage, then was managing editor in Juneau, the capitol city’s daily. As a fish guy, he mapped and monitored Tongass National Forest salmon spawning streams for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game during summer college breaks, commercial-fished for salmon after his journalism stints, and marketed seafood (the wild Alaska salmon fishery and other Alaska fisheries are designated sustainable and recommended by ocean watchdogs).
As a public servant, Kim’s mid-life career included a stint as assistant Alaska State ombudsman, two terms in the Alaska State House of Representative, and over eight years in the Alaska State Senate. Kim capped his many careers serving as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Interior (a presidential appointee) where he helped lead efforts that: resulted in managing the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness; and expanded conservation units to protect world-class waterfowl nesting habitat, protected caribou migration and calving areas, and protected long stretches of large rivers in the National Petroleum Reserve on Alaska’s North Slope. Kim also represented the Secretary in Louisiana after the BP oil spill.
When Kim retired to Bend the winter of 2012-13, he and his wife, Marylou, planned to emulate another feature of Kim’s long-ago Rambler and borrowed sled dog team—trying the idle mode. But the environmental challenges in the upper Deschutes have pushed him enthusiastically into the orbit of the Coalition for the Deschutes. Idling can wait a bit.