Legendary American Folksinger And Backcountry Traveler James “Walkin’ Jim” Stoltz Returns to Earth

Walkin’ Jim walked thousands of miles through the backcountry of the United States, taking stunning photos and writing memorable songs which he sang in his deep baritone voice.  He toured the country with his slideshows and songs, doing innumerable benefit concerts for groups dedicated to saving the country’s wild places.  He did a benefit for us in the mid-90′s when we ran the Eastern North American office of Native Forest Network in Burlington, VT.

His was a generous soul and he will be missed.  If you have not heard his music, I encourage you to check it out by clicking here: http://www.walkinjim.com/index.php?pr=Wild_Wind_Music

–Anne Petermann, for the GJEP Crew


Legendary American folksinger and backcountry traveler James “Walkin’ Jim” Stoltz passed late Friday night, September 3, 2010, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, Montana.

Stoltz, age 57, a veteran performer for 35 years, earned his nickname “Walkin’ Jim,” by hiking more than 27,000 miles through wild country in North America.  Packing a guitar and penning extraordinary lyrics along the trails, Walkin’ Jim’s always-humble-yet-strikingly-powerful songs voiced enormous respect and appreciation for the Earth, its wild places, and the wild critters that he carefully studied and truly adored.

A one-of-a-kind performer known for his powerful baritone timbre, stunning photography, humorous and elucidative stories, inspirational poetry, literally awesome lyrics, and emotion-packed vocals, Walkin’ Jim Stoltz toured extensively throughout North America for more than 35 years.  His last public performance in Montana, where he lived, was on March 6, 2010, in Missoula, where he played a benefit concert and celebration for the Last, Best Place Wildlands Campaign and Wilderness Watch.

In addition to being a co-founder of the Last, Best Place Wildlands Campaign, Walkin’ Jim Stoltz co-founded Musicians United to Sustain the Environment (MUSE).  In 2006, he organized a 45-state outreach tour with other musicians and authors, and worked with hundreds of community organizations to support clean water and to protect all public roadless wildlands and their dependent wildlife species.  In tribute, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored Stoltz with its “Outstanding Achievement Award” for his advocacy for nature and Wilderness across America.

Walkin’ Jim Stoltz was featured on folk shows and syndicated programs throughout North America, including National Public Radio in the United States and CBC/Radio-Canada.

Wildlands advocates recently dedicated The Walkin’ Jim Hiking Trail, close to Arizona’s Hells Canyon Wilderness and the Center for Biological Diversity featured Walkin’ Jim on its Web site.

Visit Walkin’ Jim’s “Keeping it Wild” Web page in which Jim helps Americans take action to protect their endangered public roadless wildlands legacy.

Walkin’ Jim Stoltz was a co-author and dedicated proponent of the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) , the “wildest bill on Capitol Hill,” which, when enacted, will designate 24 million acres of our roadless public wildlands legacy in Montana, Idaho, northwestern Wyoming, eastern Washington, and eastern Oregon as Wilderness.

The Northern Rockies Ecosystem is the LAST remaining functioning ecosystem in the lower 49 states where all native species still reside!  The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) will protect essential habitats for many at-risk species that characterize the Wild Nature of the northern Rockies, such as the gray wolf, bull trout, cutthroat trout (Montana’s official state fish), otter, mountain goat, mountain sheep, elk, arctic grayling, northern goshawk, boreal owl, pileated woodpecker, ferruginous hawk, Montana vole, sage thrasher, wild bison, peregrine falcon, bald eagle, pine marten, fisher, lynx, wolverine, and grizzly bear (Montana’s official state animal).

In the proud tradition of Montana’s famous conservationist and U.S. Senator, the late Lee Metcalf; NREPA will protect the public’s wildlands, wild animals, big game, pristine watersheds, and fisheries that make living in Montana and the Northern Rockies such a special and rare privilege.

Observations, Memorials, Tributes, Wakes, Celebrations, and Funeral Arrangements:

As of this writing (Sunday, September 5, 2010), Walkin’ Jim’s family has begun assembling in Helena, Montana.  Funeral arrangements will likely be decided by Tuesday morning, September 7, 2010.  Follow the latest news concerning all arrangements by clicking here.

If you need more information, call Mr. Chris Holt at Retz Funeral Home at:  406-442-1550; or e-mail Mr. Holt at:  retzfuneralhome@bresnan.netClick here for Retz Funeral Home’s Web site.

Click here to:  Send private condolences to Walkin’ Jim’s family; Sign Walkin’ Jim’s guest book; or Send flowers.

To converse and share stories with Walkin’ Jim Stoltz’s friends, family, and fans, go to:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Walkin-Jim-Stoltz/113598525318345?v=desc or: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Walkin-Jim-Stoltz/113598525318345?v=stream.

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  1. The picture of Jim with his beloved guitar is so special – that’s the way to remember him for sure!