Mike Matz is a visionary

  Dear HCN,
While I applaud High Country News for sharing the recent success of Nevada wilderness advocates, and for reminding its readers of the approaching 40th anniversary of the landmark Wilderness Act, (HCN, 3/3/03: The Wild Card), I was very disappointed by your characterization of the Campaign for America’s Wilderness, and its executive director, Mike Matz. It bore little resemblance either to the man I know or to the work of the Campaign.

I write as one long involved in the push for the protection of our precious wild lands throughout my career with the Natural Resources Defense Council and as the chair of the board of the Campaign for America’s Wilderness. I agreed to join the board of this new national initiative because I believed — and still do — that this effort is essential to raising awareness of the mounting threats to the nation’s public wild lands and to passing meaningful legislation to protect them.

Mike Matz’s commitment, enthusiasm and vision of a country where there will always be wild places is the heart of this organization. He has assembled a dedicated, talented group of people to carry this work to a new level, and I am not only proud to be working with them, but I am also proud of what they have accomplished in a short period of time. Yes, the political climate has changed in recent months, but the Campaign is already working closely with a number of groups to move wilderness bills in the coming year.

Johanna H. Wald
San Francisco, California
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