Huey Johnson

Huey Johnson


* Founder of Trust for Public Land
* Seeks the elimination of private land ownership and commercial development
* Was instrumental in bringing the Green Party to the U.S. in 1984
* Died on July 12, 2020

Born in 1933 and in 1972 veteran environmentalist Huey Johnson founded Trust for Public Land (TPL), which describes itself as a “national nonprofit working exclusively to protect land for human enjoyment and well-being.” America’s fifth-largest environmentalist organization, TPL purchases tracts of undeveloped wooded land for the express purpose of conserving it “for recreation and spiritual nourishment and to improve the health and quality of life of American communities.” The organization’s broader agenda seeks the elimination of private land ownership and commercial development, and uses both private and Federal grants to purchase land on whose usage it then places severe and uncompromising restrictions. Once TPL has secured a specific parcel of land, any and all development efforts and logging projects are thwarted.

In the late 1980s Johnson traveled to the Soviet Union to witness firsthand its environmental activism movement, which he praised by saying, “They’re educating the nation, they’re demonstrating courage and commitment to purpose, they’re keeping very well informed. They’re serious.” But this was eventually proven to be nothing more than pro-Communist propaganda bereft of any truth. As conservative columnist Lowell Ponte has pointed out, “the fall of the Iron Curtain revealed that pollution in Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe was thousands of times worse than anything in the West – but these phony ecologists uttered no anathema against Marxist dictatorships.”

Johnson was instrumental in bringing the Green Party to the United States. In 1984 he worked to raise $500,000 in funds to help establish that radical environmentalist, anti-nuclear Party as a contender in the Presidential election. Of the Green Party’s introduction into U.S. politics, Front Page Magazine writer Christopher Archangelli writes: “Back in the dark Cold War days of 1984 a seed was brought to American soil. Fallen from the vine of the Green Party in Germany, planted in the dark socialist earth of the American Left, and watered with rampant anti-Americanism, the Green Committees of Correspondence took root in 1990 and adopted their first national Platform. By 1996 the Green Party was formed and the twelve years of growth had created a succulent fruit for the far-left movement: the watermelon. Green on the outside and red on the inside, the watermelon became the perfect metaphor for the Green Party with its deeply Marxist philosophy hidden underneath a thin environmentalist facade.”

Huey Johnson’s environmental career began in 1963 when he was appointed Western Regional Director of the Nature Conservancy. Nine years later he founded Trust for Public Land. From 1978-1982 he served as California’s Secretary of Resources, a position that made him the state’s top environmental official. In that role, he advised the Governor on environmental policy and administered fourteen statewide departments with 14,000 employees supported by a $900 million annual budget. In 1983 he founded the Resource Renewal Institute (RRI), which was dedicated to ideals similar to those of Trust for Public Land. He remained the president of RRI for many years thereafter.

Johnson authored the 1995 book Green Plans: Greenprint for Sustainability, which discussed the environmentalist movement in the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Canada. Several universities have incorporated Green Plans into their environmental planning curricula.

In 1996 Johnson was honored “for his pioneering work” by the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. He also received awards from the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Association of Environmental Professionals, and the Friends of the U.N. Environmental Programme, among others. In addition, he was a highly sought-after public speaker who frequently lectured to audiences of business professionals in the United States, Europe, Japan, Mexico, and Canada. Among the universities where he lectured were Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford. His speaking fees ranged from $3,000 to $10,000 per appearance.

Johnson died on July 12, 2020 in Corte Madera, California.

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