In 1983, I brought two lawsuits, my first in federal court. Together, these lawsuits were the catalyst responsible for breaking a years-long impasse over the fate of pristine wildlands under the supervision of the U.S. Forest Service. The lawsuits also pushed Congress to preserve more wildlands as wilderness than it would have otherwise. Congress preserved more than 8.2 million acres of land in eighteen states in 1984 all told.

Many forces and people were responsible for protecting wildlands in the United States as wilderness. I tell this story to recognize the one person who has never received any public acknowledgment—the person who made the lawsuits possible: Elizabeth Kay Reed. I cannot bear the thought of her being unknown or forgotten.

I deserve no more recognition for my work than I do for breathing. I simply had no alternative.