James R. Wolf

Title: Director (Association Executive)
Company: Continental Divide Trail Society
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Mr. Wolf confirming his route on the Continental Divide Trail.

James Wolf, Director (Association Executive) of the Continental Divide Trail Society, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for his dedication, achievements, and leadership in federal, legal and organization executive roles.

While Mr. Wolf is proud of the work he has contributed as an attorney with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and as Vice President of the pioneering Nuclear Science & Engineering Corporation, he feels the highlight of his career has been founding and directing the Continental Divide Trail Society. Mr. Wolf formed the organization in 1978 to support the development of the newly-authorized Continental Divide National Scenic Trail – which includes 3,000 miles through the Rocky Mountains extending from Canada to Mexico. Members reside in several foreign countries as well as nearly all of our states.

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Storm King Peak from Nebo Pass, Southern Colorado

Under Mr. Wolf’s authorship, the Society has published a series of detailed trail guides for hikers and has reviewed and commented on governmental agency plans, with an aim to develop and manage the route so as to provide a ‘silent trail’ experience. Interestingly, Mr. Wolf’s outdoor adventures during his younger days were limited to summer camps in New England; it was only when he started bird-watching while a law student and then joining the Pittsburgh Climbers several years later, that he took up backpacking and a broad range of outdoor recreation activities. He is grateful to his husband, Delray Green, for logistical support and companionship on his explorations of the Trail.

Prior to his life’s calling, Mr. Wolf attended Yale University – graduating in 1952 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and Phi Beta Kappa honors – and receiving a JD from the institution’s law school in 1956. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Austria from 1952 to 1953. Also, he served on destroyers in the US Navy in 1949, continuing in the Naval Reserves to 1966, when he was discharged honorably as a commissioned officer. Other notable aspects of his career are his two years as elected president of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania and his role as Assistant Secretary and University Counsel of the University of Pittsburgh (between his days with NSEC and the USNRC).”

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Mr. Wolf hiking along the Continental Divide Trail south of Rawlins, Wyoming.

Mr. Wolf is sometimes referred to as the ‘Father of the Continental Divide Trail,’ and is known for urging designation of the trail, before the House Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation, at the 1976 oversight hearings on the National Trails System Act of 1968. In support of his efforts, he has maintained affiliations with the Partnership for the National Trails System, the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Pacific Crest Trail Association, the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, the Western Environmental Law Center and a number of other environmental and professional organizations such as the Society for the History of Discoveries and the Washington Map Society. In addition to the trail guides mentioned above, Mr. Wolf has written several essays  aimed at identifying routes followed by early travelers in lands currently traversed by the Continental Divide Trail. One of these, related to a crossing of the Idaho-Montana boundary by Lewis and Clark, was published by the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation in 2000 in a booklet called “The Mystery of Lost Trail Pass.” Other essays, based largely on Mr. Wolf’s own explorations, have appeared in the “Annals of Wyoming” journal in 1988, 1991, and 1999. His contributions have also been recognized in a comprehensive work by Barney Scout Mann, on “The Continental Divide Trail,” published by Rizzoli in 2018.

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Island Lake in Wyoming’s Bridger Wilderness.

For more information, please visit:

Continental Divide Trail Society

Guide to the Continental Divide Trail

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