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John L. Launchbaugh

Published on -12/22/2012, 6:05 PM

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John L. Launchbaugh, 90, died Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, at Gritman Hospital, Moscow, Idaho.

He was born and lived most of his life in western Kansas near Hoxie and Hays. He received a Ph.D. in range science from Texas A&M University in 1952.

He was a pioneer in the field of rangeland management. He proposed and developed intensive early stocking practices that are now widely used throughout the Plains. Other scientific contributions include using prescribed burning to improve grazing lands, growth aspects of native grasses, and effects of rangeland insects on plants and livestock. He spent most of his professional career as a researcher for Kansas State University stationed at the Fort Hays Experiment Station in Hays. He was a U.S. Navy veteran in World War II where he served on a submarine in the South Pacific.

He was a naturalist with a passion for bird watching and a skilled archer who enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was an avid collector and craftsman who created and cataloged a large barbed wire collection with more than 400 wires, refinished fine antiques, and mastered model ship building with completion of 10 models of large sailing ships.

Survivors include a son, Glenn Karl and wife, Karen Launchbaugh.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marian (Wegl); a son, John Eric Launchbaugh; two brothers Marvin B. and Loren M.; three sisters, Edith, Marian and Haze; his mother, Vernice (Martin); and his father, John Lewis Launchbaugh.

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