“For over 70 years I have loved sleeping on the ground - but without light-weight gear, I sure wouldn’t be doing it today.” Larry Eifert came from a family of professional naturalists and museum people, a mom who was an award-winning nature author and close friend of Rachel Carson and others like her – real environmental leaders of the 20th century. These people led Eifert to a life immersed in nature, art and parks – the best places left in America. He started young and has never stopped – and can now say he has more art in national and state parks, refuges and preserves than anyone - ever.
Today, Larry hikes for the same reasons he began with, to discover and learn about the nature he calls unrestricted wildness, places unchanged by the heavy hand of humans. He knows American ecosystems well, maybe better than most artists alive today. Larry and Nancy, a professional artist and photographer as well, live on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.
How do parks and refuges use his art? From visitor center murals to outdoor waysides nationwide, and in 2019, he painted a series of wildlife habitat paintings for interpretive exhibits at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. Remember the armored Bundy Militia that took over the refuge couple of years ago? Eifert looks back at that project as typical, a way to give back to an abused bit of nature, to show visitors what they are about to see. It took research - and the hiking there was great.