Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act on September 3rd


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News Release Date: August 29, 2014

Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964, Grand Teton National Park will offer several fun and informative events on September 3rd. Visitors and local residents are welcome to join park staff in celebrating this milestone in the American conservation movement.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law on September 3, 1964. The Act was largely conceived on the Murie Ranch by Howard Zahniser, a close friend and colleague of Olaus, Mardy, Adolph and Louise Murie. Zahniser managed The Wilderness Society's Washington, D.C. headquarters from 1945-1964. From 1945-1962, Olaus Murie also directed The Wilderness Society activities at its western headquarters on the Murie Ranch in Moose, Wyoming.

The following events will be held on September 3, 2014:

9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. — Join a Wilderness Film Festival at the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center. Selected films on wilderness will be shown throughout the day. Visit the front desk for listings and times.

10:00 a.m. — Join a conversation about the history and values of wilderness during a ranger-led program titled "Celebrating Wilderness" at the Colter Bay Visitor Center.

11:00 a.m. Come watch the Wild Video created by members of the Class of 2016 from Jackson Hole 
High School and Summit High School. Grand Teton offered an opportunity to high school students to enter a video contest about wilderness, and several Class of 2016 students submitted videos that answered these questions, "What is your definition of wild?" and "Why are wild places important to your generation?" Peter and Alise Prestrud created the winning video.

12:00 p.m. — Celebrate the golden anniversary of the Wilderness Act with a cake cutting at each of Grand Teton's visitors centers: Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center, LSR Preserve Center, Jenny Lake Visitor Center and Colter Bay Visitor Center.

2:00 p.m. — Join a conversation about the history and values of wilderness during a ranger-led program titled "Celebrating Wilderness" at the Colter Bay Visitor Center.

4:00 p.m. — Contribute to a conversation about wilderness during a casual walk to the Murie Ranch, the homestead that inspired one of America's greatest conservation achievements. Meet at the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center for this easy, 1.5 mile round-trip walk.

5:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. — Engage in Mardy's Front Porch Conversations at the Murie Ranch. Dan Smitherman from the Wilderness Society will facilitate a conversation about the last 50 years of wilderness protection and what lies ahead for the next 50 years. Bring your thoughts and ideas and join the dialogue in the vein of conservations held at the Murie Ranch during the 1950s and early 1960s. Light food, beverages, and a Wilderness 50 cake will accompany this evening event.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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P.O. Box 170
Moose, WY 83012


(307) 739-3399

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