Remembrances of Huey Johnson

Remembrances of Huey Johnson


  • Eric Mills, coordinator, ACTION FOR ANIMALS on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “Here’s a favorite memory: The CA State Fish & Game Commission has received more than 3,000 letters in support of…September 8, 2021
  • Steve Steinhour on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “Comments at Huey’s Memorial Service on August 14, 2020 by Steve S. Dear friends, knowing how close to Huey so…September 3, 2020
  • Tom Hicks on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “An honor to have met Huey D. Johnson through an introduction from Bill Hutton on a conversation at Ft. Mason…August 25, 2020
  • Patty Schifferle on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “Dear Jill, Tyler, Miles, Bay, Megan and Sue: If it was a normal time, we would all gather and toast…August 18, 2020
  • Conner Everts on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “If you haven’t watched the memorial it is well worth it, well done and touching speakers from family to old…August 15, 2020
  • Dirk Rosen on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “Having founded TPL, I don’t know how Huey had the bandwidth to indoctrinate a young kid like me with environmental…August 11, 2020
  • James LeCuyer on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “I’d known Huey for a couple of weeks, mostly from a talk he gave at the Blue Rock Inn for…July 31, 2020
  • Jeanne Wetzel Chinn on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “Huey was my boss from 2003-07, my mentor, and friend. His vision, compassion, direct forward momentum, honesty, and depthful questioning…July 26, 2020
  • mark on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “Dear Sue, Megan, Tyler & Jill, I trust you are all slowly healing after such a poignant loss… For me,…July 24, 2020
  • San Francisco Zen Center on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “San Francisco Zen Center, Marin County and, indeed, anyone concerned about the environment, lost a great friend and benefactor with…July 23, 2020
  • Jodie Evans on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “I remember the day Jerry popped the Question, well if you have all the answers (or some such quip) come…July 23, 2020
  • Earle W. Cummings on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “I began a career in natural resources at California Department of Fish and Game, working in the wildlife investigations lab…July 21, 2020
  • Geni Beckham on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “I just want to say that my Uncle Huey was a great man and a great steward for the planet.…July 21, 2020
  • Ray Murray on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “A colleague forwarded Huey’s obituary to me early this week and I was deeply moved. I first engaged with Huey…July 17, 2020
  • Phil Greenberg on Remembrances of Huey Johnson: “In late 1977 Governor Jerry Brown convinced Huey to accept an appointment as his Secretary For Resources for the State…July 17, 2020

12 Responses

  1. Patty Schifferle

    Dear Jill, Tyler, Miles, Bay, Megan and Sue:

    If it was a normal time, we would all gather and toast you, Huey, Miles and Bay and the wonderful times you celebrated with Huey. I will follow up with Jill regarding potential future potential plans, including my hope that we will permanently protect that portion of the Granite Chief Wilderness Area that is privately owned where with Huey’s help we were able to secure $450,000 towards its purchase.

    I join you in deep sadness over the loss of Huey–a friend, a mentor and a lover of life. As I thought about his life and what stories to share, many come to mind. The late night talks over whiskey in Sacramento as Tyler and Megan were growing up, Sunday dinners where there was always and extra place or the hilarious salmon fishing trips outside the Golden Gate in his leaky boat. And maybe the story of Miles first fiddle concert in Truckee. Life with Huey was an adventure no doubt, but the story I would like to tell is of his leadership that served all of us–his critical role in getting federal protections for all the North Coast Wild and Scenic Rivers along with the Lower American River.

    I first met Huey in 1979 in Washington D.C. Friends of the River had launched a statewide fight to save the Stanislaus river and its magic life from being drown by the New Melones Dam. As the Washington D.C. representative for Friends of the River in the fall of 1980, we had just lost the Stanislaus protection bill by a vote before Phil Burton’s Subcommittee on National Parks and Insular Affairs. The Stanislaus River wild and scenic protections were removed from Burton’s Omnibus Wild Rivers bill in that September on a 20-19 vote.

    President Carter’s Secretary of Interior Cecil Andrus understood the importance of protecting our Nation’s free flowing river system. And shared this love of wild places, hunting and fishing with then California’s Secretary of Resources, Huey Johnson. Governor Jerry Brown tasked Huey and his team–Kirk Markwald, Rich Hammond, Guy Phillips and others –to formally petition Secretary of Interior Andrus to provide federal protection from dams for California’s Northcoast California Wild and Scenic Rivers–The Trinity, Smith, Eel, Van Duzen along with the lower American Rivers. As California Wild and Scenic protected rivers, they could gain federal W&S protections from dam building if the Governor of the State of California petitioned the Secretary.

    With the petition to protect these rivers pending, President Carter’s Chief of Staff early in January 1981 requested all Cabinet Secretaries to submit their resignations. Secretary Andrus refused, he said, ” The President appointed me to be Secretary and I will serve out my full term until January 19.”

    With Huey at the helm the State of California submitted the final papers to protect these rivers in the closing hours of the Carter administration with all the environmental reviews completed. Andrus signed them into federal protection on that day, January 19, 1981, hours before H.W. Bush would become President. And the environmental review conducted under Huey’s leadership sustained the predictable court challenges. Thus to this day these rivers enjoy both federal and state Wild and Scenic Protections with their outstanding remarkable values and watersheds free from the dam builders.

    My heartfelt love to you. We are going to try to join you via zoom on August 14. Connections are tough here. Still I wanted to share this story with you about how one man, your husband, father and Grandpa, made such a huge difference for us all.

    Love to you Shortcutt.

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