News and Announcements Archive

CONGRESS ENACTS LEGISLATION TO ENHANCE THE UDALL FOUNDATION AND HONOR STEWART L. UDALL


Posted: 10/21/2009

Today, Congress enacted legislation to enhance the Udall Foundation, located in Tucson, Arizona, and simultaneously honor one of the great public servants and foremost environmental visionaries of the era, Stewart L. Udall.

The bill renames the federal agency the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, in recognition of the historic Interior Secretary's contributions.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva in the U.S. House of Representatives and cosponsored by Rep. Nick J. Rahall, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, and Reps. Ed Pastor, Gabrielle Giffords, Harry Mitchell, and Ann Kirkpatrick. Senator Jeff Bingaman introduced the bill in the U.S. Senate, and Senator John McCain cosponsored the legislation.

"Many have contributed to this moment, but I want to extend a special thanks to Congressman Grijalva who fathered the legislation and provided the energy to make this day possible,” said Terry Bracy, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Udall Foundation. “I also want to express our deepest appreciation to Senator Bingaman and Senator McCain who skillfully guided this legislation through the Senate. It is one of many efforts Senator McCain has made on behalf of the Foundation." Bracy also noted the formative role Congressman Pastor has had in providing the Foundation with vital funding over the years.

"I am honored to have sponsored this legislation to help expand one of the finest federal agencies while also honoring Secretary Udall, who helped awareness in the country about the importance of protecting and preserving our environment," said Congressman Grijalva. "I want to thank everyone who made this honor for my father, Stewart Udall, a reality," said Senator Tom Udall. "No one admires him more than his children and we are so proud that both his and Mo's legacies are now joined to continue making an impact through the Udall Foundation. Their vision and commitment to conservation and environmental and cultural preservation will live eternally in the special places of our nation and the unique faces of its people."

"My Uncle Stewart has been like a father to me to me, particularly after the death of my own dad 11 years ago. His advice has always been clear: do what's right -- not what's most expedient. He's a proud Westerner in the best tradition of the West, which is all about working together, honoring the Native peoples who came before us, and respecting Mother Nature. He often references what his friend, the great writer, Wallace Stegner, said about the West -- that our challenge is to create a society that is as majestic as our surroundings. That encapsulates the mission of the Udall Foundation, and Stewart's addition into the Foundation masthead will give us further inspiration to meet that challenge. I want to thank everyone who helped make this legislation possible." -- U.S. Sen. Mark Udall

"Mo and Stewart Udall were statesmen brothers known for their dedication to conservation and excellence in government. I'm pleased Congress agreed to honor Stewart by adding his name to this accomplished Foundation," said Senator John McCain of Arizona. "May the Udall legacy remain as timeless as the majestic mountains and roaring rivers he helped to protect."

“New Mexicans know the important role Stewart Udall has played over his lifetime to protect our environment and public lands. For that reason, I believe he should be recognized alongside his brother Morris. I am very glad we have won support of this legislation in the Senate and the House of Representatives, and that the bill can now be signed by the President,” said Senator Jeff Bingaman from New Mexico, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

The Udall Foundation was created initially to honor the legacy of the late Morris Udall, who represented Southern Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years. Stewart Udall, who also represented Southern Arizona in Congress from 1955 to 1961, is Morris Udall's older brother. The two worked together on many environmental and Native American initiatives while Stewart Udall was Secretary of the Interior and Morris Udall a member of Congress.

"The Udall legacy is really a shared legacy, rooted in the work of the Udall brothers that dominated environmental reform for three decades," said Terry Bracy. "The Board of Trustees at the Udall Foundation is pleased that Congress has decided to pay tribute to this joint legacy, recognizing Stewart Udall's vision and leadership and honoring him along with his brother Morris by including his name in the title of the Udall Foundation. This is an appropriate acknowledgement by Congress of Stewart's contributions to the United States."

Stewart L. Udall was Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, where his accomplishments earned him a special place among all those ever to serve in that post and have made him an icon in the environmental and conservation communities. Stewart’s remarkable career in public service has left an indelible mark on the nation’s environmental and cultural heritage.

Born in 1920 in Saint Johns, Arizona, Udall attended the University of Arizona for two years until World War II. He served four years in the Air Force as an enlisted B24 gunner flying 50 missions over Western Europe, for which he received the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. He returned to the University of Arizona in 1946 where he played guard on a championship basketball team and attended law school. He received his law degree and was admitted to the Arizona bar in 1948. He married Erma Lee Webb during this time. They raised six children.

Stewart was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona in 1954. In 1960, President Kennedy appointed Stewart Udall Secretary of the Interior. He is the last surviving member of the original Kennedy cabinet.

His tenure as Secretary of the Interior coincided with some of the most productive years for the protection of the country's environment and natural resources. In his role, he oversaw the addition of four parks, six national monuments, eight seashores and lakeshores, nine recreation areas, 20 historic sites and 56 wildlife refuges to the National Park system. During his tenure as the Interior Secretary, President Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act, the Water Quality Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and National Trails Bill.

Stewart Udall also helped spark a cultural renaissance in America by setting in motion initiatives that led to the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap Farm Park, the National Endowments for Arts and the Humanities, and the revived Ford’s Theatre.

His best-selling book on environmental attitudes in the U.S., The Quiet Crisis (1963), along with Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, is credited with creating a consciousness in the country leading to the environmental movement.

Stewart Udall currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and will turn 90 years old in January 2010. He is the father of Senator Tom Udall from New Mexico and the uncle of Senator Mark Udall from Colorado. Mark Udall is the son of the late Morris K. Udall.

For additional information, please contact Libby Rodke Washburn at 505.332.9079 or washburn@udall.gov


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