For many decades the nature conservation business has been female dominated, even though the better-known male conservationists dominate the public perception. Nevertheless it is these women for wilderness that drive the conservation movement to this day.

Andrea Johanides (WWF Austria), Agnes Zolyomi (CeeWEB), Carol Ritchie (Europarc), Gudrun Pflueger (European Wilderness Society),  Erika Stanciu (ProPark) and many other outstanding women have a strong influence on the nature conservation movement.  But this was not common a few decades ago. In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Wilderness Society honors 11 of those women who have made a difference to America’s wild lands.

Hallie M. Daggett

Hallie M. Daggett

Outstanding Women for Wilderness

  • Margaret “Mardy” Murie (1902 – 2003) who was instrumental in the expansion of Alaska´s Artic National Wildlife Refuge
  • Celia Hunter (1910 – 2001) became the first female president of a nature conservation organization
  • Rachel Carson (1907 – 1964) with her book Silent Spring began a grass root movement that resulted in the creation of the EPA
  • Terry Tempest Williams (1955 – ), a contemporary author, wrote the book that Bill Clinton claimed made a difference in the protection of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah
  • Hallie M. Daggett (1878 – 1964) was the first woman employed by the US Forest Service as a fire lookout
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1890 – 1998) worked to protect the everglades and wrote an iconic book about it
  • Herma Albertson Baggley (1896 – 1981) was the first female naturalist who worked for the National Park Service and was a pioneer in botany and natural education at Yellowstone National Park
  • Bethine Church (1923 – 2013) was political active in the creation of the Wilderness Act as well as the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
  • Rosalie Barrow Edge (1877 – 1962) founded the first preserve for birds of prey at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in the Appalachian Mountains
  • Anne LaBastille (1935 – 2011) wrote numerours articles and books like the Woodswoman series and Women of the Wilderness
  • missing on that list but definitely worth mentioning is also Fran P. Mainella (1947 – ) was the first woman director of the National Park Service from 2001 – 2006.
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About Author

Max A. E. Rossberg is an avid WIlderness Advocates with extensive experience in Sustainable Tourism Strategies and Multistakeholder planning processes.

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