Highlights of Bob Marshall's environmental work and involvement with SUNY ESF.
Bob passed away in 1939 at the age of 38. His legacy has lived on - - -
Robert "Bob" Marshall's Legacy.
“American exploration of the Brooks Range came in the 1880s, when “military explorers, gold prospectors, government scientists helped to fill in what had been a large blank space on American maps.” One of these people, wilderness advocate Robert “Bob” Marshall became an early and fervent supporter or setting aside a large part of the central Brooks Range as a National Park. Gates of the Arctic was established as a national park in 1980.
Important Dates in Gates of the Arctic National Park History:
1929 – Famous American forester Robert “Bob” Marshall coins the name “Gates of the Arctic” upon discovering a pass between two mountains on the North Fork of the Koyukuk River.
1974 – The 414-mile Dalton Highway to the Alaskan interior opens. It comes within five miles of the park’s eastern boundary, making it the only road near the park.
1978 – Gates of the Arctic National Monument established.
1980 – Gates of the Arctic National Park established.
“Born into a wealthy family, Robert Marshall chose to eschew the comfortable lifestyle in favor of throwing himself, both physically and emotionally, into America's wild lands. Despite a weak heart, Marshall set a rugged pace on frequent hikes of 50 miles or more a day through untamed wilderness. His physical determination was matched by a will of steel: When opponents argued for roads through wilderness to provide easy access for millions of people, Marshall took a firm stand in favor of keeping the land pristine. He is credited with almost single-handedly getting 5.4 million acres added to the federal wilderness system.”
“The History of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation -
The spark for a Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation came from Mike Dailey, a Montana Businessman, who has rafted, fished, and hiked the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex (BMWC) since the ‘70s. After many years of recreating in the “Bob”, Mike became concerned about the deteriorating condition of its trails and campsites and the lack of federal funding to do anything about it. The Foundation was granted tax-exempt status and in 1996 and began its first summer of volunteer projects in 1997. That year the Foundation’s goal was to provide 1000 volunteer service days but ended the summer logging 2,600 days of service (a service day is a day of work by one volunteer). The Foundation has repeated this effort each summer for over 15 years and BMWF volunteers have cleared and maintained over 4,476 miles of trail.”