Martin Litton in his Cessna (2006). © Ricardo Dearatanha/Los Angeles Times
Martin Litton in his Cessna (2006). © Ricardo Dearatanha/Los Angeles Times

Environmental warrior still fighting at 95

Feb 2012

Martin Litton has been an activist for a long time. Back in the 1960s, he successfully fought the damming of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and helped kill a Disney resort planned near Sequoia National Park. He campaigned for the creation of Redwood National Park in the southern Sierra Nevada.

Litton is the guarding eye and voice of concern for the Giant Sequoia National Monument which encompasses 353,000 acres in California’s Sierra Nevada. He and others had fought for decades to preserve these trees, and finally, in 2000, President Clinton created the monument. But unfortunately he assigned its management to the US Forest Service, which had prioritised timber production there for nearly a century – and just would not stop. During the first decade of this millennium, Litton used to fly over the area regularly, in his vintage Cessna 195, and discover ‘spots’ between 5 and 20 hectares big which were being or had been logged, despite environmental legislation.

The sequoias are still far from safe…

Update 2014: Clyde Martin Litton (born Feb 13, 1917) died November 30, 2014 at his home, at the age of 97 years.

sources: Bettina Boxall, A matter of grove concern, Los Angeles Times, Dec 21, 2006
Jane Braxton Little, Environmental warrior Martin Litton is still fighting at 95, High Country News, Feb 20, 2012
links: Wikipedia: Martin Litton (environmentalist)

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