About The Murie Center

Students from Carson High School in Los Angeles visit Mardy's porch

The Murie Center (TMC) is a nonprofit conservation organization located on the historic Murie Ranch in Moose, Wyoming. Our mission is to: bring people together to inspire action that protects nature. There are three stewardship components to this mission: 1) stewardship of the Murie Ranch – a National Historic Landmark, 2) stewardship and access to the Murie Archives, and 3) promotion of the Murie Legacy for conservation success. All are intertwined. There were four Muries: Olaus and Mardy, Adolph and Louise, two half brothers who married two half sisters. All were great biologists, writers, and conservationists. The Murie Legacy for success in environmental conservation is one of high aspirations for protection of nature, advocated by kindness. Mardy Murie loved to quote her late husband Olaus: “It's going to take all of us to do it!” The Muries stood for civility, inclusive engagement, transparency and strategic compromise. Their son Donald writes: “My dad and mom won the respect of both allies and opponents by their calm, non-confrontational and reasoned approach. They never accused, never shouted, never insulted.” Or, as the late Pattie Layser wrote, Mardy “knows how to defuse radical exuberance without derailing youthful enthusiasm.” The passage of The Wilderness Act on September 3, 1964 is regarded as one of the Muries’ crowning achievements. It is also a great example of what is missing from 21st century conservation. As we mark the 50th anniversary of passage of this Act, it provides a direct example of the effectiveness of compromise. At the time of its passage, there were over 570 million acres in the federal public land estate. Wilderness Act protection was afforded to only about 9 million acres, 1.5 per cent of the public lands, that qualified. Still, the Muries and others accepted this compromise, and an inclusive and deliberate process to evaluate and add land to the Wilderness system. Since passage of the Act, 100 million acres has been added to the system. Every President has signed legislation adding to the National Wilderness Preservation System, the most acres by President Ronald Reagan. In this era of gridlock, the Murie Legacy is what is needed most in 21st century conservation. At The Murie Center, we are determined to get that message across and we do this in a number of ways: • training rising leaders, • residencies in art, conservation and writing, • interpretation to thousands of visitors each summer • outreach throughout the nation. This can take many forms, such as: speeches, writing, meeting participation, Skyping into environmental policy classes, making the Murie Archives more accessible for research, partnerships with other groups and interactions of all kinds within the greater conservation community. With your support, you can help make all of the above possible.