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Margaret “Mardy” Murie (1902-2003)


#Alaska Lands Act #Authors #Environmental Conservation #Figures in Sustainability #Historical Icons #National Parks


Taylor Heagler

Known as the “Grandmother of the Conversation Movement,” Margaret “Mardy” Murie is a writer who helped pass historic legislation such as the Wilderness Act and protected what is now the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Born in Seattle, Washington, Murie moved to Fairbanks, Alaska while in elementary school. She married biologist Olaus Murie, who was her partner in crime as they worked on environmental politics. In 1964, she testified in support of the Alaska Lands Act, which eventually established millions of acres of new national parks and wildlife refuges in Alaska. After her husband’s death, Murie continued her conservation work by leading the crusade to protect the Alaskan wilderness and became a mentor to many conservation leaders that are living today. Her work has been recognized by winning the Sierra Club’s John Muir Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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