I would like to acknowledge also the long and sustained efforts of those Alaskans who appreciated the value of these lands to Alaskans themselves, as well as to the people of America.
There are those such as Richard Gordon, Dave and Mark Hickok, Celia Hunter, and others who were working for Alaska conservation before Peggy and I first arrived in Alaska. And there are the stalwarts of the Alaska Conservation Society, such as Bob Weeden and Ginny Wood.
There were Congressional representatives such as Morris Udall, John Seiberling, and Phil Burton, and Senators such as Alan Bible, Henry M. Jackson, Lee Metcalf, Paul Tsongas, and John Durkin.
Then there are those whom the Sierra Club recruited from 1967 to 1980, most notably Jack Hession, Chuck Clusen, Doug Scott, and John McComb.
And the hosts of Alaska Natives who contributed in a variety of ways to the success of the legislation.
All these, plus many more I don't have time or immediate recollection to recognize right now had their own important roles in the campaign for the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.
Personally, I have been to Alaska some 35 times after my wife Peggy first convinced me to come. I am indebted to my son-in-law Jim Roush who flew me, Peggy, and Jack Hession around the state a number of times.
In my own many years of Alaska and other conservation campaigns, I have come to see a general pattern in environmental advocacy. First comes a vision, then an obsession to do the job so that the vision will endure.
In pursuing my vision, I have followed a few rules to advantage. Among these are:
The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act remains the largest piece of land conservation legislation in American history. It provides in varying degrees protection for 104 million acres of Alaskan lands and waters.
And yet, at its passage and even now a quarter of a century later, I do not feel completion. The campaign for Alaska's lands reached an important plateau in 1980, but not an end. It doubt if it ever will end. A conservation campaign like this never really ends. It crosses certain milestones but wildlands must always be defended against those who would encroach against their ecological integrity.
Permanent protection of many of Alaska's unparalleled unique wild lands may not seem close today. But the vision of preserving them in perpetuity remains.
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