Bud Jordahl and Emily Early Photo by 1000 Friends of Wisconsin
Bud is shown here with a good friend Emily Early, a conservation pioneer in her own right. I was lucky to know and work with Bud (and Emily too) who was a board member of the Dane County Natural Heritage Foundation when I was their Executive Director (1991-1998). Bud inspired me and hundreds of young conservationists by his work as as professor, board member, political advisor and friend.
Bud taught me to be deliberate and steady. His long, scope of history in conservation in this state fully informed his advice and thereby many organizations. He taught me about the history of land protection in Wisconsin and how ORAP (Outdoor Recreation Act Program) set the stage for the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund in 1990 leading to the acquisition and protection of hundreds of significant natural areas in Wisconsin. This legacy made the preservation of Mt Ashwabay, Corny Beach and Houghton Falls possible.
Bud was vital in the initiative to create the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in our neck of the woods. He was part of that immensely influential group of conservationists including Senator Gaylord Nelson and Martin Hanson who came to power during the 1970's and whose work led to the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the formation of the EPA. Bud's generation was a group that set the foundation for the modern environmental movement.
Yet, Bud also stayed "downhome" and served on the board of our local land trust. He liked to wear red wool plaid shirts and loved to talk about his farm in Richland County, which he protected forever with a conservation easement. He would bring his brown bag lunch to our committee meetings.
It always felt to me that every conversation was important; he was a man of immeasureable integrity.
In Norwegian, Jor (good earth) dahl (valley)