1937: Olaus and Mardy, founding member of the newly created Wilderness Society, takes a seat on the council, along with their friend and colleague Aldo Leoplold.
1945: Olaus resigns from the Biological Survey to become director of the Wilderness Society.
When Olaus became The Wilderness Society director, Mardy spent countless hours working with him to protect our nation’s wild lands; by giving lectures, promoting legislation, and even leading a group through the Brooks Range in 1956.
These efforts paid off because in 1960, The Artic Wildlife Range was designated the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Mardy describes this moment as one of the few times she ever saw her husband cry during their 39 year marriage.
Their History in Writing 1951: Elk of North America , by Olaus, is published. 1954: A Field Guide to Animal Tracks , by Olaus, is published. 1960: Balance of Nature , illustrated by Olaus, is published. 1962: Two In the Far North , written by Mardy and illustrated by Olaus, is published.
1968, Oil was discovered under Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay. This had great implications for the Alaskan Wilderness, much like to Gold Rush at the turn of the century had. Mardy continued her work with The Sierra Club and in 1975 was invited to be the key note speaker for a National Park Service Conference in Alaska. She was also to act as a special consultant and her task was to fly around the state to evaluate areas to be included in the proposed Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Mardy’s report and recommendations went into the congressional battle to protect Alaska.
1980, December 2 nd the ANILCA bill or Alaska Lands Act was passed.
“ The Grandmother of the American Conservation Movement”
1980 by the late 80’s Mardy was recognized for the depth and perseverance of commitment to the land. Others had done much to preserve wilderness, but few approached her lifelong, constant, personal commitment. And although she shunned the spot light,
she was awarded the Audubon Medal, the Sierra Club’s John Muir Award, and The Wilderness Society's Bob Marshall Award, among many others. She was also the subject of countless interviews and TV, including pieces by Charles Kuralt, and National Geographic.