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Title Oral History of Huey Johnson
Collection Oral History
Scope & Content In this oral history, environmentalist Huey Johnson recounts his lifelong work to preserve open spaces and wilderness areas throughout the United States and beyond. Born in Michigan in 1933, Huey moved out to California with his wife after graduate school to take a dream job as the Western Regional Director of the Nature Conservancy. He recalls how they spent their first few nights in California camping on Muir Beach, which "captured his soul," and marvels how Spindrift Point and Green Gulch, right there nearby, would turn out to be some of his earliest land preservation projects. Huey recounts several other big projects he worked on in Marin, including Kent Island and Marincello, and his numerous battles with the Marin County Board of Supervisors over the years. He discusses creating the Trust for Public Land in 1972, which has conducted 5,000 projects around the country saving some three million acres. He recounts his service in Governor Jerry Brown’s cabinet from 1976 until 1982 as Secretary of Resources. Huey took his zeal for the environment internationally when he established a nonprofit watchdog organization to monitor a new U.N. agency on the environment, and in 1995 he founded the Resource Renewal Institute. While he has received numerous honors and awards for his work over the years, Huey notes that the greatest reward is returning to a place he has helped to preserve and beholding its beauty. He praises Mill Valley, where he has lived with his family for 50 years, for its natural beauty and peacefulness, remarking that wherever his work has taken him, coming home to Mill Valley has always recharged his spirits for renewed engagement in the battle for land preservation.
Audio and Transcript Click here to hear recording.
Click here to read the transcript.
Dates of Creation 2016-06-30
Narrator's name Johnson, Huey
Interviewer Schwartz, Debra
Extent and Medium Transcript: 46pp
Recording: 02:11:58
Search Terms Behr, Peter
Conservation of natural resources
Environmental issues - Marin County
Environmental management
Environmental protection
Ferguson, Doug
Kent, Alice
Land development
Land use
Livermore, Catherine
Nature Conservancy
Praetzl, Bob
Rebels with a Cause
Resource Renewal Institute
Rosen, Arty
Terwilliger, Elizabeth
Trust for Public Land
Object ID 2016.055.001
Object Name Recording
Copyrights Transcript and recording copyright Mill Valley Public Library, 2016. Materials are made available for research purposes only; all rights are reserved to the Mill Valley Public Library. Requests for permission to quote for publication or for any other usage must be obtained from the Library.