National Wilderness Conference Keynote Speaker: Stewart Brandborg, Howard Zahniser's colleague
Stewart Brandborg worked closely with fellow conservationist Howard Zahniser to assure the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964. In his early career, Brandborg worked seasonally in various National Forests throughout Montana, Idaho and Oregon, on range and forest surveys, trail maintenance, and as a lookout fireman. Brandborg graduated from the University of Montana with a B.S. in Wildlife Technology, and an M.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Idaho, where he produced a life history monograph of the mountain goat. He performed population, range and management studies of the other major big game species of the region for the Montana and Idaho Departments of Fish and Game during the period 1947-54. In 1954, Brandborg was appointed Assistant Conservation Director of the National Wildlife Federation, and in 1956 The Wilderness Society elected Brandborg to its council where he worked closely with TWS director Howard Zahniser on The Wilderness Bill. When Zahniser died suddenly in May of 1964, Brandborg was appointed to succeed him as Executive Director of The Wilderness Society. He escorted the Wilderness Bill through its last crucial steps in Congress and final passage in September 1964. Brandborg left TWS in 1976, and spent the reminder of the 1970s working for the government, first as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, and later as Special assistant to the Director of the National Parks Service. In these posts he worked with park personnel, teaching them how to work more effectively with citizen activists in building support for the National Park system. From 1982 to 1986, he was national coordinator of the Regional Environment Leadership Conference Series, a collaboration between the ten largest national environmental organizations.