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Former Interior Secretary, Idaho Governor Remembered

Boise, Idaho, March 29, 2018.  Former Department of Interior Secretary and Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus died on August 24, 2017, a day shy of his 85th birthday.

During his tenure with Interior, Andrus worked to secure  Congressional passage of the Redwood National Park Expansion Act in 1978. That Act added 48,000 acres (75 sq mi; 190 km2) to Redwood National Park in California, in part to preserve remnants of the giant redwood forests there.[i]

Andrus wrote in his memoir about a need for compromise relative to his successful, last-ditch efforts in securing passage of the Alaska Lands Act during the last month of the Carter Administration in December 1980, following Ronald Reagan‘s election in November.

“The environmental groups were initially hostile, Andrus is quoted as saying.  “I actually had to listen to the idiotic argument (from the Wilderness Society and Sierra Club’s paid Washington lobbyists) that they could get a better Alaska package out of Reagan and Watt.”  “Cooler heads quickly prevailed,” Andrus continues, “It proved the old adage that there’s nothing like a hanging in the morning to focus the mind. Even though we were creating tomorrow’s controversies, a 103-million acre [preservation] plan … was a lot better than nothing.”[ii]

As governor, Andrus fought to prevent the opening of an open-pit molybdenum mine in the White Cloud Mountains and served as interior secretary under President Jimmy Carter.

The former Interior secretary and Governor will be remembered for his accomplishments, some of which are listed in the following table. [table “6” not found /]


[i] Schrepfer, Susan R. (1983). The Fight to Save the Redwoods: A History of Environmental Reform, 1917-1978. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 130–85. ISBN 0-299-08850-2.

[ii] Cecil D. Andrus, “Politics Western Style” (with Joel Connelly), Sasquatch Books, Seattle, 1998.

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Michael McGreer Mesquite, Nevada
Dr. Michael Manford McGreer is managing editor of and writes on issues that impact public policy.

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