Federation lauds Aspen’s Connie Harvey

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – Longtime Aspen resident Connie Harvey was one of three recipients honored at the National Conservation Achievement Awards on March 16 at the National Wildlife Federation’s annual meeting in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Special Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have achieved a single, exemplary conservation accomplishment or have exhibited sustained conservation commitment.

“Connie Harvey has made an enormous difference for conservation, and she is a true inspiration,” said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.

Harvey moved to Aspen in 1959 and was one of the founders of Aspen Wilderness Workshop, created in 1967. Her environmental accomplishments include protecting more than 400,000 acres as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System and starting the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board, with conservation easements on more than 18,000 acres of private land, as well as miles of hiking and biking trails. Her family placed a permanent conservation easement on their 1,850-acre ranch, ensuring it can remain a working cattle ranch and unspoiled backdrop to the Maroon Bells wilderness.

Harvey, who wrote a column for the Aspen Daily News for more than a decade, serves on various foundation boards, and her numerous awards include recognition as a wilderness hero in the film “Forever Wild: Celebrating America’s Wilderness,” and induction into the Aspen Hall of Fame in 2006.

“Connie has shown generations of Coloradans that when citizens get engaged, good conservation outcomes can be achieved,” said Ann Morgan, executive director of the federation’s Rocky Mountains and Prairies Regional Center. “She has inspired generations of environmental advocates to never give up and to speak truth to power. She truly embodies NWF’s mission to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.