Feds honor conservationist Wood
Published: August 12th, 2010 09:53 PM
FAIRBANKS -- Pioneer conservationist Virginia "Ginny" Wood, 92, of Fairbanks has been awarded the Service Citizens Award by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The ceremony, with more than a dozen friends and family members present, took place in a hand-hewn log cabin that Wood built in the 1950s.
Wood, a warplane ferry pilot during World War II, (WASP) arrived in Alaska in 1947. She started the renowned Camp Denali at Denali National Park and has mentored countless young conservationists.
"Ginny Wood has left her mark on the landscape of Alaska and made an indelible impression on Alaska's conservation community," said Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould. "Because of her remarkable foresight, some of Alaska's most treasured places remain untrammeled and are enjoyed by people from throughout the world."
Wood and Celia Hunter, her longtime companion, met as World War II pilots and were later dubbed the "grand dames of the environmental movement'' by former Gov. Jay Hammond. Hunter died in 2001.
Wood lobbied the Eisenhower administration to set aside what became the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, co-founding the Alaska Conservation Society in the process.
In addition, Wood led opponents of the Rampart Dam, which would have flooded the entire Yukon Flats, in the 1960s. She was also an active opponent of the Project Chariot proposal, which would have used nuclear explosives to blast a harbor in Northwest Alaska.