Stewart Udall 1920-2010


Stewart Udall hiking with Lady Bird Johnson in 1966, via LA Times

Stewart Udall was Interior Secretary under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

According to the New York Times, he presided over the acquisition of 3.85 million acres of holdings, including 4 national parks, 6 national monuments, 9 national recreation areas, 20 historic sites, 50 wildlife refuges and 8 national seashores.

The environment was not so politicized then; Republicans and Democrats worked together.

That was a wonderful time, and it carried through into the Nixon administration, into the Ford administration, into the Carter administration," Stewart Udall said. "It lasted for 20 years. I don't remember a big fight between the Republicans and Democrats in the Nixon administration or President Gerald Ford and so on. There was a consensus that the country needed more conservation projects of the kind that we were proposing."

Stewart Udall, dead at 90. John Laumer adds his thoughts:
"Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, center, with Chief Jack House of the Ute tribe of Colorado and Rep. Wayne Aspinall (D-Colo.) in 1966. ." Image and caption credit: Washington Post photo gallery.

Stewart Udall was US Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and a 'prime mover behind many major conservation acts, including the Water Quality, Wilderness and Endangered Species acts of the 1960s.' Washington Post has an announcement of his recent passing here and a nice sketch of his life here.

Stewart Udall's name was familiar to many of those who participated in the first Earth Day (myself included). Without him many of the wilderness areas we take for granted now likely would have ended up clear-cut, full of bore holes, and scarred with mining pits.

He was a real Westerner with rural roots. Not one of those citified Think Tank experts you see testifying on behalf of any resource extraction industry that donates money to the "right" political campaign.

Thanks for being here Mr. Udall..

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