CSPRA Honorary California State Park Ranger - 1991
David Ross Brower

CSPRA is proud to honor David Brower with the Honorary State Park Ranger award for 1991.

A tireless defender of wild areas such as California’s redwood forests, David Brower helped define the modern environmental movement, and distinguishing himself as one of the most inspiring leaders of the 20th century.

Brower was the first executive director of the Sierra Club. He helped breathe new life into the organization, which had lost much of its strength after the death of the group’s founder, John Muir. As head of the Sierra Club, Brower spearheaded campaigns to keep giant dams out of Dinosaur National Monument and the Grand Canyon. His advocacy led to the establishment of nine national parks and seashores, including Kings Canyon National Park, Redwoods National Park, and Point Reyes National Seashore. He played an instrumental role in passing the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Brower founded Friends of the Earth in 1969, after serving as executive director of the Sierra Club. The move was timely, as FOE was positioned to grow with the burst of environmental concern generated by the first Earth Day in April 1970.

One of Brower’s signature accomplishments was his innovative use of media technologies. Under his direction, the Sierra Club began publishing “exhibit format” books that combined exquisite outdoor photography with conservation messages, helping to raise environmental awareness. Brower was also one of the first activists to use full-page advertisements in prominent newspapers as a way of shifting public opinion and building grassroots support. During Brower’s tenure as executive director of the Sierra Club, the organization’s membership went from 2,000 (mostly in California) to 77,000 across the US.

Brower’s passion for the Earth and its inhabitants earned him international respect. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times (in 1978, 1979, and 1998, jointly with professor Paul Ehrlich). In 1998, Brower received the Blue Planet Prize for his lifetime achievements. Author John McPhee made Brower the subject of his best-selling book,
Encounters with the Archdruid .