Crockett was born and raised in Averys Creek, NC, across the French Broad River from the Biltmore Estate. “My mother’s focus for the next 20 years was to prevent me from perfecting the art of being a Shiftless Woods Loafer. It did not happen! With this great Hillbilly upbringing in the Smokeys, I continued on to the University of Montana and graduated with a degree in Forestry and Wildlife Management, which led me to a Professional Woods-Loafer position with the National Park Service as a Ranger in Glacier National Park.”
In August 1967, Crockett was on duty during the “Night of the Grizzley” where two women were killed and a man mauled. Glacier National Park then furnished three horses and had him start a Back-Country Ranger Program where he packed around the Park educating hikers about how to prevent grizzly bear confrontations.
“In 1969, I won the Lottery and got a free trip to Vietnam! For the rest of my 35-year career I returned to the Forest Service where, well mounted on my own horses, I served as a Forest Service Ranger in the Bridger, Boise, Dixie, St. Joe, Carson and Manti National Forests.”
In 1973, the Forest Service asked a group of Foresters across the United States to go back to graduate school for a degree in Silviculture. This education in genetics inspired Crockett’s quest to establish a fixed genotype for Endurance Racing with the Outlaw Trail Ranch Arabian horses.
During the 1990’s Crocett was serving as a Ranger in the Milagro Beanfield, a highly controversial Public Land Management area in Northern New Mexico, where he established and implemented a highly effective new management model. His approach was captured in the book, “Adaptive Governance (Horseback Diplomacy),” by Ron Brunner (et. al.). These positive changes in Public Land management were recognized by Harvard University as “Reinventing Government.” He was then affiliated with Harvard’s JFK School of Government where he presented seminars on the topic, “Butch Cassidy Was My Mentor:The Art of Public Land Management.”
Crockett served on the AERC Board of Directors for 22 years, establishing the Trails Committee and Committee Procedures. He served 2 years as Vice President and President. He was inducted into the AERC Hall of Fame in 2005.