Bruce Woods (907) 786-3695
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today awarded the Service Citizen’s Award to Virginia “Ginny” Wood of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Service Citizen’s Award commends private citizens and organizations for their significant contributions to the mission and goals of the Service. The ceremony took place in a hand-hewn log cabin that Ms. Wood built in the 1950s, and was attended by about a dozen friends and family members.
After serving as a war-plane ferry pilot during World War II, Wood arrived in Alaska in 1947 by flying a war-surplus airplane from Seattle to Fairbanks. Her conservation career began with grassroots organizing that helped convince the Eisenhower Administration to set aside what became the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As part of this organizing effort, Wood co-founded the Alaska Conservation Society, Alaska’s first conservation organization. She also played a significant role in the passage of the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, which increased the size of the refuge to 19 million acres. Wood had a leading role in the 1950s and ‘60s opposing the proposed Rampart Dam, which would have flooded the entire Yukon Flats, and the Project Chariot proposal, which would have used nuclear explosives to blast a harbor in northwestern Alaska.
Among her many accomplishments, Wood started Alaska’s first ecotourism venture, Camp Denali, at Denali National Park. In addition, she has served as a mentor to countless young emerging conservationists.
“Ginny Wood has left her mark on the landscape of Alaska and made an indelible impression on Alaska’s conservation community, leading by example with passion and vision,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould. “Because of her remarkable foresight, some of Alaska’s most treasured places remain untrammeled and are enjoyed by people from throughout the world. With this award, we express our gratitude for Ginny’s efforts.”
A photo is available on request. Contact Bruce Woods at the number listed above.The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.