Environmental community loses two of its best advocates

HUDSON, NY - June 27, 2003 - The environmental community has lost two of its best advocates. Scenic Hudson and the Open Space Institute mourn the loss of their founders, Franny Reese and Richard H. Pough, respectively. OSI and Scenic Hudson work together to protect landscapes throughout the Hudson River Valley. In 2001, the two organizations were the recipients of the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Fund for the Hudson Highlands. 

Had it not been for Reese and Pough—two of the greatest pioneers in land conservation--the Hudson River Valley would be a far different place today. 

Franny Reese, 85, was one of the founders of Scenic Hudson. In early 1964, she led efforts to protect Storm King Mountain, an iconic landmark in New York's Hudson Highlands. With a handful of other citizens, she battled Consolidated Edison and its plans to build a huge power plant into the side of a mountain that creates a magnificent gateway to the Hudson Valley. 

While she had no experience fighting major corporations or working with government agencies that ruled on such proposals, she was spurred by her passion. She took resolve from her love of a river that had seen so many dramatic moments in our country's history and that had sparked the imaginations of leading artists and writers. 

Richard Pough, 99, had a long and distinguished career as a champion of wild birds. He helped create the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, wrote bird guides for Audubon, and was founding president of The Nature Conservancy. Pough also founded the Open Space Institute in the 1960s, when he gathered a handful of open space proponents and founded the Open Space Action Committee, later named the Open Space Institute. 

Incorporated in 1964 (as the Open Space Action Committee), the Institute reached out to landowners in New York and provided informative materials about land stewardship. In 1965, the Institute published Stewardship, a publication for concerned landowners in suburban and rural areas subject to the land-consuming pressures of urbanization. 

In an effort to memorialize and celebrate the lives of Franny Reese and Richard Pough, Scenic Hudsonand OSI have posted information about the lives of these two great pioneers on their web sites.

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