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International Women's Day: Celebrating Women in Environmental Conservation

Today, March 8th, is International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women's Day (IWD) is observed around the world.

In honor of International Women's Day, Noland Law Firm is highlighting the contributions of a few important women who have made history in the field of environmental law.

Margaret Murie (1902 - 2003) - Murie was instrumental in the establishment and expansion of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Dubbed the "Grandmother of the Conservation Movement" by both the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society, she successfully lobbied for the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

"I hope that the United States of America is not so rich that she can afford to let these wildernesses pass by. Or so poor that she cannot afford to keep them."

- Margaret Murie

Rachel Carson (1907 - 1964) - Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries. Her 1962 book Silent Spring described the harmful effects of pesticides on the environment. The book is widely credited with launching the environmental conservation movement in America.

“But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.” - Rachel Carson

Wangari Maathai (1940 - 2011) - Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt Movement, which focused on planting trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights in Kenya. In 2004 she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her “contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.”

"In Kenya women are the first victims of environmental degradation, because they are the ones who walk for hours looking for water, who fetch firewood, who provide food for their families."

- Wangari Maathai

Mollie Beattie (1947-1996) - Beattie was the first female director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She successfully defended the Endangered Species Act and implemented a conservation approach that focused on entire ecosystems rather than individual species.

"In the long term, the economy and the environment are the same thing. If it's unenvironmental it is uneconomical. That is the rule of nature." - Mollie Beattie

To learn more about the important contributions women have made to environmental conservation, check out these articles:

SF ENVIRONMENT: Celebrating Women Environmentalists during Women's History Month

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