HELENA, Mont. — Bob Ream, whose impacts on conservation in Montana stretched from scientific research and mentoring students to forming public policy, has died in Helena. He was 80.

Officials with Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home declined to release a cause of death, but he previously said he had pancreatic cancer. Ream died Wednesday.

Ream was a wildlife biology professor for 28 years at the University of Montana, where he founded the Wilderness Institute, the Wolf Ecology Project and the Wilderness and Civilization program. He served in the Montana House of Representatives from 1983-1997, where he sponsored legislation that created the state’s Stream Access Law, the Montana Superfund law and a law that required restitution for illegally taken wildlife.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester called Ream a champion for Montana.