EPISODE Nine: NorM nELSON
Norm Nelson is the oldest son of Morley Nelson, who is widely considered to be the most influential figure in the establishment of a National Conservation Area in the snake river canyon. What many people don’t realize however, is the substantial role that Morley’s family played in working to get protected status for this unique area. While Morley was working his full time job as the region’s snow survey supervisor – a job that he held from the late 1940s through the early 1970s – it was often his kids – Norm, Tim, Tyler and Suzie – who were out in the field working to spread awareness about birds of prey. Norm became interested in both raptors and filmmaking at an early age – he was training eagles and shooting film footage for big time film productions by the time he was in high school.
While Morley was pulling strings behind the scenes to secure funding for documentaries about birds of prey in the Snake River canyon, it was often Norm and his younger brother Tyler who were responsible for the creative process behind these influential films.
We feel honored to have had the opportunity to interview Norm for this oral history series, and we hope that you enjoy his stories about a lifetime of work in the Snake River canyon as much as we did!