Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Alexander ``Al'' Lennox Vail, a longtime friend, who passed away on January 4, 2000. He was 78. Vail was a California rancher, whose family had owned and managed Santa Rosa Island and its 54,000-acre cattle operation there for nearly a century.
Vail was born November 24, 1921 in Los Angeles, California, thirty minutes after his twin brother Russ. The two brothers grew up playing on the island that their grandfather had purchased in 1902, with partner J.V. Vickers. At just 21 years old, Vail began working full-time on Santa Rosa Island as a cowboy. In 1962, he became the general manager of the ranching operation.
Vail and his twin brother continued to manage the ranching operation, off the coast of Santa Barbara, until 1998. At that time, the last cattle were removed under an agreement to protect the island's native plants. Since 1998, the Vails and the Vickers (the Vickers are silent partners) continued to run a commercial elk and deer hunting operation on the island, which Vail managed until his sudden death.
Al will forever be remembered throughout the livestock community for his ethics and stewardship of the bounteous resources of an island that was in his family for almost 100 years.
Vail is survived by his wife, Catherine ``Kay'' Sutherland Vail of Santa Barbara; his daughters, Nita Vail of Sacramento and Mary Vail of Moorpark; twin brother Russell Vail and sister Margaret Vail Woolley, and their families of Pasadena.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Alexander ``Al'' Lennox Vail for his dedication to the well-being of the animals and the land. Vail will be remembered by his family members and those who knew him for his integrity, honesty, and hard work. I urge my colleagues to join me in extending my condolences to the Vail family.
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