Dr. James R. Rich - Commission Member Emeritus
Dr. James R. Rich, who honorably served as a commission member representing Northern Kentucky’s 5th Wildlife District for 36 years, died Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. He was 92.
“Doc” Rich was the longest serving member on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission. Over the course of his tenure, eight Kentucky governors appointed him to the commission. His roles included chairman, vice-chairman and secretary. In recognition of Rich’s years of service to conservation, Gov. Steve Beshear gave him a lifetime appointment as Commission Member Emeritus in 2012.
“Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is like family to me,” Rich said at the time. “I’ve enjoyed all of my years with Fish and Wildlife and cherish the memories.”
Rich, a graduate of Georgetown College and the University of Louisville School of Medicine, opened a family medical practice in Taylor Mill in November 1955. He continued the practice for 56 years before his retirement.
An avid hunter and angler, his memberships included the League of Kentucky Sportsmen, National Rifle Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited.
In 1998, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources named a 2,273-acre wildlife management area in Owen County in Rich’s honor.
Rich buttressed several major undertakings at the department while serving on the commission, lending his support to turkey, elk and native walleye restoration efforts.