Remembering Stewart Udall’s Conservation Legacy

Stewart L. Udall with Lady Bird Johnson on a trip to Snake River in 1964. Courtesy NPS.

One of the great voices of conservation has passed away. Stewart Udall, who  served in Congress and as Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, died last weekend at the age of 90.

As Interior Secretary, Udall oversaw monumental expansions of America’s land preservation systems. He presided over 60 additions to the National Park System, including the creation of the North Cascades National Park in Washington state; Canyonlands National Park in Utah; Redwoods National Park in California; and Guadalupe Mountain National Park in Texas. Udall also presided over the creation of six national monuments, and dozens of refuges, historic sites, recreation areas and national seashores.

Udall was also an active participant in the writing and passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964. Today, we continue to benefit from a number of other legislative efforts championed by Mr. Udall including the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, the National Trails System Act and the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

“Stewart Udall was a giant in the environmental field. He never forgot our duty to future generations, and he was both tenacious and creative in protecting our nation’s extraordinary natural treasures,” said Wilderness Society President Bill Meadows. “He understood that wilderness has many benefits — clean water and air, wildlife protection, recreation, and more — and his efforts to help create the National Wilderness Preservation System pay dividends for Americans every single day.”

Read Udall’s obituary here.

photo: Stewart L. Udall with Lady Bird Johnson on a trip to Snake River in 1964. Courtesy NPS.