James Mark Backstrand

james backstrand

November 2, 1950 ~ May 23, 2010

Resided in: Canon City, CO

James Mark 'Jim' Backstrand, 59, passed away on May 23, 2010. Survived by his loving wife of 21 years, Tracy; mother, Marcia Backstrand; brother, Kenny Backstrand; sisters, Jeanette (Van) Price, Wilma (Wayne) Hinkle, Debbie (Doug) DeVries; father and mother- in-law, Calvin and Mary Jane Johnson; sister-in-law, Tami (Dennis) Brennan; brothers-in-law, Geoff (Natalie) Johnson and Greg (Sherry) Johnson; along with several nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his father, Rev. Kenneth Backstrand; brother, Daniel Backstrand; and brothers-in-law, Ben Waddle and Scott Johnson. Jim was born to Kenneth and Marcia Backstrand on November 2, 1950, in Portland, Oregon. He was a wildlife biologist with the Bureau of Land Management in Canon City. There will be no viewing. Cremation, Montgomery & Steward Crematorium. A memorial service will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 28, 2010, at First Presbyterian Church, 220 W. 10th, with the Rev. Dr. Brad Munroe officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Jim Backstrand Memorial Fund at any Pueblo Bank & Trust. Memorials will benefit the Wild Horse and Inmate Program. Online condolences, www.montgomerysteward.com

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Memories Timeline


  1. For the Families of Jim and Tracey

    I knew Jim and Tracey from working with them at Monarch many years ago. I have many great memories of them. I thought highly of Jim as my supervisor at Monarch and had nothing but respect for him. I shared many good times with them both and they will be missed. My sincere condolences to both of their families.

    Randy Mishmash

  2. On behalf of all of us with Alpine Fencing, please accept our deepest condolences. We thoroughly enjoyed working with Jim on BLM and GARNA projects. He was a man with great integrity and a deep appreciation for the wildness of creation. He took pleasure in his work and it was clearly reflected in his relationships. May you – his family and co-workers – be blessed with heaven’s richest peace.

  3. Tracy and family,

    Jim was a quiet leader. A person you could count on to do whatever was required. He was so dedicated to his profession and was always willing to share his knowledge and skills with his co-workers. I admired his patient and easy going nature. He accomplished a heck of a lot in his eleven years with BLM, and he had plans for much more. So, we will do our best here to get to those things that Jim wanted done.

  4. To Jim’s Family:

    Jim was such a wonderful and giving person. Not only did Jim have a compassion for people, yet he also had a true love for the land and all its resources. He will be missed. Peace.

    Dave Park

  5. Tracy, I was shocked and so sorry when I received the news. I’ll never forget Jim’s silly grin and the twinkle of oneryness in his eyes! On occassion he’d be working at his desk (he was usually in the field) and I’d ask if he had any more of your great cookies to share. He’d give me a shrug and grin, “nope, ate em’ all”! He always made me smile. My love and prayers to you and yours! Vickie Trentzsch

  6. Tracy, I feel so fortunate to have worked with Jim. We shared a love for Mexican spotted owls and I am grateful for Jim’s companionship in difficult and uncertain situations. Jim was so excited every spring when the time came to “gear up” for surveys and monitoring efforts. He shared his enthusiasm and love for our work with so many coworkers in the office that we soon had a “crew” to help with surveys every year. We endured wind, rain, lightning, waterfalls, snakes, ticks, bears, bugs, poison ivy, rock falls, deadfalls and long, hot hikes in difficult terrain. Jim never complained but looked forward to every trip into the woods. The sights and sounds of the wilderness after dark was something that was so special and we cherished every minute. We’ll continue our work but it just won’t be the same without Jim there to share it with. We are so fortunate to have had Jim a part of our lives and work. He will be missed. We’ll “hoot up” an owl for you Jim!! Your friend, Erik

  7. To Jim’s family, I think it is obvious by the responses, how much Jim was liked and appreciated. So many of us had so many “good days” just interacting and being around Jim, with his quite, thoughtful and unassuming ways of approaching the job, and life. …. Jim, I will miss you, and I so enjoyed the many years of those late evening discussions. We did not solve all the world problems, but we certainly did explore many of them.

  8. Tracy I am so sorry for your lose. Jim was such a special guy. He was so easy going he would put people at ease and that made working with him a joy. I was his supervisor for many years and was able to finally get him on permanent a short time ago. That pleased Jim and the rest of us. We will all miss Jim greatly. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. What to say about such shocking news of the loss of Jim. I found Jim to be quiet and thoughtful, a man who said little but spoke with confidence and wisdom when he found it to be appropriate. I found the more dealings I had with Jim the more I sought his council. I feel a significant loss in his passing and I know he will be missed by his family and his many friends, including those at BLM.

  10. I was very saddened to hear of Jims passing. I had the pleasure of working with him on several fishery projects through the years and found him to be of the highest character. I will miss him as a friend and colleague and offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends.

  11. Tracy,
    Lee and I were sad to hear about Jim. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and yours.

  12. Tracy and Family,
    I will miss Jim very much. Jim made a point to see me at my AHRA work as I made a point to see him at his BLM work. Since the mid-80s, Jim has always been a good friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and Jim.
    God Bless,

  13. dearest tracy-i am greatful for the dusty old wonderful memories…hopefully yours will give you comfort and heal your heart. sincerely, alys and jim

  14. Tracy,
    I am so sad to hear that Jim is gone…. I have been remembering the fun “old” days. I have missed you and Jim. Please let me know if I can help you in any way, anything at all.

  15. Tracy and Family, I was shocked and and am saddened by the loss of such a fine man. I worked with Jim since he came to Canon City and we shared many interests.

  16. I am fortunate to have known Jim for the short time that I have been with the BLM. Jim played a critical role in our office and went above and beyond the call of his regular duties. Jim was always willing to help people when they were having trouble making maps, operating GPS units, navigating various government software programs, etc. Jim was always a consummate professional. His knowledge, humor, and dedication will be greatly missed in our office. Our hearts go out to all of his family who are dealing with Jim’s passing.

  17. Tracy,
    I will miss Jim very much, I’ve enjoyed working with him and getting to know him the past couple of years here at the BLM. I learned alot from Jim. He was the most patient and easy going person I’ve ever known. I will especially miss the days we were fortunate enough to take the horses out to check allotments and riparian areas. I know Jim really enjoyed these days as he called them “horse therapy days”. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  18. Tracy and family,

    Over the last several years I had the opportunity to work with Jim. Jim was fun to be around and enjoyable to work with. He was the “go to” guy that folks relied on when something needed to be done. He was skilled in GIS, very handy with a GPS unit, and had many other computer talents. Jim also went out to the field, worked hard, and got things done. When a problem came up and management needed help the following words were often heard. “Where’s Jim…He can probably do that!”

    I will miss him. We lost a most valuable public servant.


  19. Dear Kenny, My deepest condolences on the loss of your Brother. Your Family and You will be in my prayers and thoughts. Love, Sonja Rilea, Colorado Springs, CO

  20. Tracy and family, I’m so sorry for your loss- Jim was a great guy to work with, and I will always recall our discussions about fisheries and wildlife, and the need to preserve or restore habitat so they might continue as God meant them to. Jim loved to teach about wildlife, and he was kind enough to share his experiences about some of the local fishing spots–( but not until he was certain I was a “catch and release” fisherman!)- I’ll think of Jim’s lifelong work and love of wildlife every tme I catch and release a fish in the places we’ve talked about. He was truly special, and will be remembered as a dedicated person who really made a difference in the lives of wildlife and the people who worked with him.

  21. Jim is already missed here in our neighborhood by myself and others.
    Tracy..we are here for you.

  22. Tracy and family, over the years I worked on occasion with Jim for the BLM. Jim was as dedicated an employee anyone could ever ask for. He always had a smile and unique positive outlook on the silly things that take place at work. We will miss Jim. He was a good man.

  23. What a shock to hear of Jim’s death. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Jim worked for us (Division of Wildlife) here in the upper Arkansas Valley several years. He will be missed. He was always smiling and always had a friendly demeanor.

  24. Tracy,
    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband Jim. I knew Jim through my work with the BLM via my position at the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area. I always found Jim to be a very talented and dedicated employee who was a pleasure to work with. Jim will be missed by all of us here at AHRA. If there is anything we can due to help you during this time of grief please do not hesitate to ask.
    Rob White / Colorado State Parks

  25. Dear Tracy,

    My deepest condolences to you and your family for the loss of Jim. Even though I have not seen you guys in a long time, my memories of time spent with him and you are fresh and fun. What adventures we had at both at work and at play! Those memories will never fade.

  26. We are so sorry to have lost Jim. He was a pleasure to work with and just a great guy. We will greatly miss him. Please accept our sympathy for your painful loss.

  27. Tracy,

    We were blessed to have such a genuine and kind person to work with. Jim’s contributions to the Royal Gorge Field Office go beyond what words can say. He was a solid, true professional and his easy-going nature was much appreciated. His contributions go beyond these things, though, they are really matters of the heart. We will hold you and your family up in prayer.

  28. Tracy and family,

    I will miss Jim’s quiet smile and sense of humor. He was very much a no nonsense type of guy.

    I think of the enjoyment and pleasure that he derived from working with Mexican Spotted Owls, and, as a Forest Service wildlife biologist, I was always envious of the fact that a lot more MSOs are found locally on BLM lands than on the local Ranger District for the Forest Service.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

  29. I knew Jim as a quiet, reserved, knowledgeable friend who was always professional. I appreciate his influence on the office, my work, and my family. I do wish I had told him more how much I appreciate his influence. To Tracy and his family, thank you so much for Jim, he will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know him. My thoughts, my prayers are heartfelt for you.

  30. Jim was always a pleasure to work with, and always there to assist with a smile. We shared laughs and frustrations – always in humor. He will be missed for a long time to come.

  31. The many nights I spent hooting for Mexican Spotted Owl with Jim enrich my life to this day. It’s tough to imagine he won’t be around to shake his head at the silliness around him, marvel at the beauty when the owl called us in, sweat the moon when a survey came up short. To Tracy and Jim’s family, I know how much this moment hurts and my heart is with you.

  32. Tracy and Family,
    I enjoyed working with Jim. He could always be counted on for a smile and a good story…he will be greatly missed! My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  33. Tracy and family,
    We share your sadness and grief during this difficult time. Jim was a wonderful, easy-going person and he was a great friend to all of us in the office. We will miss him dearly. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

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