Thank you for joining us in honoring Huey and his beloved community at the second annual Huey Johnson Legacy Walk
The storms took a break last Sunday, and the sun shined on our tribute to Huey Johnson, RRI’s beloved founder who would have turned 90 years old on January 6. We gathered to honor him but also to reconnect with you – his family, close friends, and loyal supporters – who shared so much of your lives with Huey.
In a tradition established at last year’s walk, we met at the Tennessee Valley trailhead, a beautiful part of the Marin Headlands that Huey helped save from urban development in the sixties and early seventies. We stood at the former entry gate to Marincello, the city that was stopped in its tracks thanks to Huey and his allies. At the same time, we acknowledge that this site is part of the unceded ancestral lands of the Coast Miwok people of present-day Marin and southern Sonoma Counties. We honor with gratitude the land itself, and all of its ancestors: past, present, and emerging.
As we had done last year, we read from his moving 1978 speech that expressed his feelings not only about the magnificent wilderness that is coastal Marin but also about his purpose in life, his reason for being. As we work to realize Huey’s vision, these words inspire us and keep us moving forward. (To read and download the transcription of Huey’s 1978 speech CLICK HERE.) I also shared a letter that Huey received from his friend, adventure writer Charles Borden, urging him to leave his job in Washington D.C. and “hurry home to the things that matter.” Fortunately for all of us, the letter convinced Huey to return to California for good.
Many thanks to those who contributed their own thoughts and memories – RRI Board Chairman, Elizabeth Baker, Huey’s grandson Miles, and Susan Ives, longtime RRI team member and communications consultant. Elizabeth celebrated Huey’s love for his family, how close they were and how much they shared – from wilderness adventures to weekly dinners. Miles, an environmentalist in his own right, generously added that we are all part of Huey’s larger family of committed friends, advocates and supporters. And Susan reminded us of Huey’s great sense of humor and his critical advice that we must never compromise on nature because once it is lost, we can never get it back.
I so appreciate your helping us establish this wonderful tradition. It is our chance to remember what we loved about Huey and to recommit to what he taught us about protecting wild places and the natural world.
We look forward to seeing you at 10 a.m. January 7, 2024!