Mardy Murie: Mother of the American Conservation Movement

Margaret "Mardy" Murie devoted much of her life to the preservation of our nation's wild lands. Testifying at hearings, writing books and letters, speaking publicly about her experiences in the Arctic wilds, her work helped to create Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in 1960, and add 54 million acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1980. Mardy was honored three times at the White House, most recently when President Clinton presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mardy once said she hoped she would never see a time when "the United States of America is not so rich that she can afford to let these wildernesses pass by, or not so poor she cannot afford to protect them." But as you probably know, energy companies supported by the current administration are now seeking to drill for oil in Mardy's beloved Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. More than ever, this pristine wilderness needs our assistance.

Arctic Dance: The Mardy Murie Story, a wonderful documentary video about the life of Mardy Murie is now available through The Murie Center. Visit to purchase this inspirational and informative biography, and learn more about her efforts to preserve the endangered Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

In October of 2003, Mardy Murie passed away at the age of 101. Her passion, love, and ultimate dedication to wilderness conservation was simply outstanding. She has inspired countless grassroots activists and will continue to impact the environmental movement for generations to come. And though the Patagonia community will miss her dearly, we'll work even harder to honor her memory and protect the wild country we all love.

Patagonia's Environmental Grants program helps to support many groups making positive contributions to the environmental movement. One such group is The Murie Center, a "Voice for the Value of Wild Nature," based in Moose,Wyoming. Visit their Web site at:
to find out more about their conservation work.