Huey Johnson, a longtime conservationist, was honored Sunday in Los Altos
Hills for "outstanding work in local conservation" after playing a key role
in the fight for the permanent protection of Westwind Barn and Byrne Preserve
in Los Altos Hills.
Conservationist Huey Johnson, center, with Mary Stegner, left, widow of
writer and environmentalist Wallace Stegner, and Rep. Anna Eshoo at an event to honor Johnson on Sunday.
Mary Stegner, widow of writer and environmentalist Wallace Stegner, and
Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, presented the award to Johnson at an event
sponsored by the League of Women Voters at Congregation Beth Am.
Johnson became involved with the case when several members of the city
council mentioned developing a town-owned property to raise town funds.
Johnson inspired town leaders to bring the issue to the attention of the
overall community partially through editorial writing, castigating the
council for "compromising protected lands because of greed."
Nancy Couperus, a member of the Committee for Los Altos Hills Open
Space, said Johnson gave the group the inspiration to mount an initiative
that would protect the town's properties. Johnson said his work will serve
as an example to communities nationwide to stand up for heritage lands.
Johnson received the United Nations' 2001 Sasakawa Environment Prize,
the highest honor given to an environmentalist. He started his career in
conservation as the first Western regional director of the Nature Conser-
vancy. Later, he helped found the Trust for Public Land, served as the
Secretary of Resources for California, and started the Resource Renewal
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