Patrick Goldsworthy appears here describing his hiking trips with David Brower in the Sierras, and the ethic they shared. [Excerpt from For Earth’s Sake: The David Brower Story, 1989, (c) John De Graff, used with permission.]
“And I found it inspiring to the point of making me realize that, as I believe he put it, while you’re enjoying yourself on these trips in the mountains, you also have an obligation to do something about defending them. You can’t just enjoy something and do nothing, you have an obligation.” -Patrick recalling David Brower, who led Sierra trips he went on before coming to the Northwest
Recollections by Donna Osseward:
My earliest memories of Dr. Patrick Goldsworthy (known to us as Pat or Patrick) were being in his house, walking around his dining table, with other conservationists, picking up the pages of the North Cascades Conservation Council’s newsletter, stapling, folding, adding an address label, and stamp. He would drop them at the post office the next day on his way to his medical research position at the University of Washington.
The North Cascades Conservation Council essentially began with a collection people that met monthly at the Mountaineers club rooms over the Green Apple Pie and across the hall from the, then, one room REI. They met to preserve national public lands and discuss other conservation issues. They came as members of the Mountaineers, Olympic Park Associates, Seattle Audubon, Sierra Club, and other individuals, just interested in saving special places in Washington.
During these work party events and meetings, the various people attending would talk strategy: what they had learned, from whom, that would further the goal of protecting wilderness in the north cascades and the rest of Washington state and the country. In that time, the conservation movement in the Northwest was like a big family with lots of cousins that worked well together. This group decided the magnificence of the north cascades needed to be preserved, now – the 1950’s – for future generations.
As Polly Dyer tells the North Cascades Conservation Council’s history, Phil & Laura Zalesky and Polly were in Stehekin, waiting for the boat, to return from a exploratory hike in the area, where they met Grant McConnell’s wife, Jane. In talking to her about their interest in creating a park, she said, they should meet her husband – a professor at the University of California at Berkley. Polly, soon after, visited him on a trip to California. Professor McConnell said that to be successful, you would need a single purpose organization with those specific goals in mind.
The idea was accepted. People from the “Mountaineers’ collection” of conservationists met on the UW campus to form the North Cascades Conservation Council. Phil Zalesky became its first president, Patrick it’s second. He became a persistent force who kept going no matter what obstacle got in the way. He and N3C led the way against timber and mining interests; towns fearing a park would ruin their economy; Seattle City Light looking for more cheap power opportunities; as well as hunters and farmers fearing their interests would be lost in a national park. This experience would be very helpful in later struggles to save wilderness.
Goldsworthy fell in love with the North Cascades when he moved to Seattle from California around 1950. “I had no idea there was such a wonderful place. I fell in love with the forested mountains,” Goldsworthy said. “I thought: ‘We just have to do something to protect this.’ “ -Seattle Times, http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2009240051_northcascades20m.html
The relationship he and John Dyer had with David Brower, then executive director of the Sierra Club, brought the Sierra Club into the fight and put the park idea into the national spotlight. Brower filmed and produced the movie, “The Wilderness Alps of the Stehekin.” The film was shown around the country and the northwest to publicize the need for protecting the North Cascades wilderness for all.
Patrick also served on the boards of The Wilderness Society, National Parks Conservation Association, and Olympic Park Associates. He was made an honorary member of the Mountaineers for his conservation work. As a part of the Northwest conservation leadership, he worked during the 1950’s for the many years it took to make the Wilderness BILL an ACT. We will celebrate the Act’s 50th anniversary in 2014.
He represented N3C with letters and at hearings for creating the Glacier Peak Wilderness, North Cascades National Park & Recreation Area, the Wilderness Bill, and acts to create the Henry Jackson Wilderness, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, & William O. Douglas Wilderness Areas.
Those of you who have participated in the efforts to create National Parks and Wilderness areas, you know the effort is not over with their creation. There are then threats to their status that must be thwarted. Patrick and N3C lead the fight to stop the raising of Seattle City Light’s Ross Dam – more mailings, hearings, and meetings – and finally success!
As chairman of the North Cascades Conservation Council Board, Patrick helped to continue the effort to expand the park – more meetings, talking with possible partners, raising money, talking to Congress people and U.S. Senators, and printing pamphlets. His experience helped to keep the new effort on track. His knowledge of the area went into the map making. No conservation land preservation effort is successful without the map. This effort is still underway.
Up until about a year ago, Patrick regularly attended Olympic Park Associates meetings as he had for years. He shared his knowledge, relationships with other conservationists, and his political savvy to OPA’s issues for the preservation of Olympic Park’s wilderness.
These interlocking boards (as they would be called in the corporate world) helped to maintain the cooperative and useful efforts of all the organizations. That sharing of knowledge helped to make every organization stronger and more effective.
The above recordings were made as part of a student book project led by Edward A. Whitesell of Evergreen State College. The resulting book, Defending Wild Washington: A Citizen’s Guide to Action is available at our online bookstore.
Recollections by Donna Osseward (cont.):
As an OPA board member, he helped with the issues in the Olympics – to stop the “salvage logging” [within the Park] being done by the superintendent Fred Overly; to keep a road off the Olympic coast; to hold the North Shore of the Quinault Lake area in the park; to preserve the Forest Service “defacto” wilderness areas around the park and make them part of the national Wilderness system; stop the straightening of the Sol Duc road that would have removed ancient trees to make it easy for large RV’s to make it into the Sol Duc; and currently, OPA’s attempts to add ecologically critical areas to Olympic National Park. He supported & added his knowledge to the current Wild Olympics campaign to add some of Olympic National Park’s rivers to the Wild & Scenic River’s system, and to add more areas around the Park to the national wilderness system.
As you can see, Patrick’s enthusiasm for preserving the wild lands of Washington, and the country continued, until his passing. The areas we have preserved over the last 60-years, have benefited from his quiet zeal, persistence, and his ability to work with others. We will miss his dedication.
We need more people like Patrick if we are to be successful in fulfilling the wilderness bucket list for which he was so passionate.
Patrick Goldsworthy: An appreciation
Dr. Patrick Donovan Goldsworthy was present at the creation of the Northwest’s conservation movement, back in the days when horn-blasting logging trucks lined up outside wilderness hearings, and the Wenatchee National Forest supervisor greeted a delegation of early greens with the words: “Just what do you people want?” Goldsworthy, 94, died in Seattle on Sunday.
“Pat always impressed me as one of the true gentlemen of Northwest conservation,” said Tim McNulty, a Sequim-based author and longtime activist in Olympic Park Associates. Goldsworthy was a gentlemen, but relentless in his advocacy.
He helped establish the first Sierra Club chapter in the Northwest. In 1957, he helped found the North Cascades Conservation Council, the most uncompromising voice of Washington conservation. The N3C fought an administrative battle for creation of a Glacier Peak Wilderness Area in 1960, then turned to Congress for passage of the North Cascades Act in 1968. The landmark legislation created a 684,000 acre North Cascades National Park complex, along with adjoining Glacier Peak and Pasayten Wilderness Areas totaling nearly one million acres. It was a seminal moment for protection and preservation of the “American Alps.”
When U.S. Interior Secretary Stewart Udall came to Seattle for the 1962 World’s Fair, Seattle attorney/conservationist Irving Clark, Jr., invited Goldsworthy to a Bainbridge Island beach party honoring Udall. “Now Pat,” he admonished Goldsworthy, “Stewart Udall is a busy man.” Clark gently suggested that Goldsworthy let Udall relax and hold off lobbying for a national park in the North Cascades. No way! Armed with maps, Goldsworthy positioned himself just inside the door of the beach house. He waylaid Udall, took him into the study and laid out the case for a park. Goldsworthy, lugging topographical maps, became a familiar figure in Washington congressional offices.
Six years post-Bainbridge, Goldsworthy stood with Udall at the White House while President Lyndon Johnson signed the North Cascades Act into law. He received a pen used by LBJ to sign the act. Goldsworthy was a participant in one of the national conservation movements most wrenching battles. He was a director of the Sierra Club when, in 1969, the club board voted to oust visionary but autocratic executive director David Brower. Brower had brought national attention to the “American Alps” with publication of the Sierra Club book “North Cascades: Forgotten Parkland.” He gave national circulation to a film, “The Wilderness Alps of Stehekin.” He helped defeat a massive mining project proposed for the heart of the Glacier Peak Wilderness, with a full-page New York Times ad headlined: “An Open Pit Visible from the Moon.” But he spent money the club did not have, and went around its directors. Goldsworthy was a diehard Brower defender, and left the Sierra Club board afterward.
In professional life, Goldsworthy was a University of Washington professor who spent a career researching protein biochemistry. He was raised in Berkeley, California, weaned on early Sierra Club outings, and came north to Seattle after World War II service in the Army Medical Corps. The atmosphere for conservation, at the time, was not friendly. A famous Seattle Times editorial lampooned conservation advocates as “mountain climbers and birdwatchers.” An Olympic National Park superintendent allowed illegal logging on park lands, supposedly taking trees that endangered visitors. Goldsworthy went out to the park, photographed the destruction, and helped halt the logging. He was active in Olympic Park Associates, which became a model for N3C.
The conservation community was never/will never be satisfied. The North Cascades Act was followed in 1976 by creation of a 393,000-acre Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The million-acre Washington Wilderness Act of 1984 created a Mt. Baker and Boulder River Wilderness, and protected 179,000 acres east of Lake Chelan.
Yet, even in his 90′s, Goldsworthy continued to press his latest cause, expansion of the North Cascades National Park to embrace ecosystem rather than political boundaries. A now-sympathetic Times pictured Goldsworthy and longtime fellow activist Polly Dyer on a hike up the Baker River, just outside existing park boundaries.
Along with 101 Hikes guidebook author Harvey Manning, Goldsworthy belonged to a group that called itself the Elderly Birdwatchers Hiking and Griping Society. It did 39 hikes, of which Goldsworthy participated in 23. Woe unto the motorcycle-riding Forest Service backcountry ranger who encountered the “Birdwatchers.”
Goldsworthy retired from the University of Washington in the early 1990′s, but never really retired from the N3C.
If you want to see his legacy, lift your eyes unto our hills.
Below is the transcript of an oral history interview with Patrick conducted in 1983 by The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, in which he relates the story of his childhood and how he found his way into conservation, as well as many details of his activism in NCCC. Click the “Full Screen” icon in the lower right to open for reading in your browser.