I want to share some brief thoughts on the passing of Huey Johnson.
Huey was a powerhouse and created the “land for people” era of the modern conservation movement. Starting with the Marin Headlands that have since grown to define the beauty and recreational culture of the Bay Area, he launched a movement of saving places not just for their natural beauty, but because these places, and our collective connection to them, make our lives better and our communities stronger.
He had a further, lesser-known ambition and impact: a vision of creating and training a new profession; an ecosystem of real estate professionals around the country tasked with saving land for the public. Through the growth and collaboration of the national work of the Trust for Public Land, Huey helped to train generations of professionals equipped to compete in the private market with developers and the extraction industry, negotiating complex real-estate transactions to get the beauty of nature out of harm’s way and into the public trust. As a result of the organization he helped to launch in 1973 (Trust for Public Land, hundreds of conservation professionals have been at work in every state of the country to save land for the public good.