Conservationist and citizen scientist Marion Stoddart of Groton, NH founded the Nashua River Watershed Association in 1969 to bring together community members, businesses, federal and state agencies, and other organizations to help restore the Nashua River. The river was on the top 10 most polluted US rivers list. Today the Nashua is nearly pristine. Marion and the Nashua River Watershed Association have continued to spearhead the protection of 174 miles of riverside greenways along the Nashua and its major tributaries including the J. Harry Rich State Forest, Nashua River Rail Trail and the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge.
#HerStory continues as she inspires others in the Nashua River area to preserve the green spaces that surround those communities and work closely with agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to address landscape-level conservation in New England.
Author, naturalist and activist Terry Tempest Williams has long inspired women conservationists with her bold views of wilderness and the symbolic ways wide open landscapes mirror an inner and sometimes spiritual journey toward individual courage and freedom. Her book, Refuge, chronicles habitat restoration efforts at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah in combination with a parallel and very poignant story of her mother’s illness and death. Her stories are about healing the land and healing the soul.
We celebrate #WomensHistoryMonth to spotlight the legacy of women conservationists throughout history no matter how long ago and even now as women make history everyday.
Like this Virginia Bluebell unfolding on a May day at the FWS‘s National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV, Terry Tempest William’s storytelling peels back the leaves of meaning to reveal beauty and truth. Her writing and activism will go down in history as an inspiration to those who work with “boots on the ground” to preserve our wild places.
This Delmarva fox squirrel was caught on a remotely triggered camera located in Delaware back in 2004 when this species was teetering on extinction.
Over forty years of concerted, “on-the-ground” conservation efforts by states, landowners and others working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including bands of “thoughtful, committed citizens,” contributed to the Delmarva fox squirrel’s leap off the Endangered Species list last year.
This major conservation success story highlights exactly what Margaret Mead spotlighted in her famous quote: that “just a few” can bring about change and make a major impact on the health of the “whole.” Anthropologist, explorer, writer, and teacher Margaret Mead who worked for over fifty years at the American Museum of Natural History was acutely aware of the natural world’s impact on culture and the human experience. We celebrate her insights this National Women’s History Month as her quote alone has lit many conservation “fires.”