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Mitch Friedman

Mitch Friedman's biography

A life for the trees

Mitch Friedman is the executive director of Conservation Northwest (known first as Greater Ecosystem Alliance, then Northwest Ecosystem Alliance), which he founded in 1988 after being an activist leader in efforts to save ancient forests. He was also a founding board member of both The Wildlands Project and American Lands Alliance. He has a degree in zoology with a special interest in conservation biology from the University of Washington.

Mitch has received conservation awards from Sunset Magazine, Society for Conservation Biology, The Wilderness Society, Washington Environmental Council, and Northwest Jewish Environmental Project. In 2003 he was named by Washington Law and Politics Magazine as one of the "25 smartest people in Washington." He has published two books and produced eight video tapes on conservation issues.

Among his best known stunts include:

  • Organizing the first spotted owl protection protests
  • Spending many hours in the canopy of ancient trees as one of the first tree-sitting protesters
  • Conceiving and organizing the Ancient Forest Rescue Expedition, nationwide educational tours featuring a giant log towed by a semi-truck
  • Executing the first non-logging high bid for a Forest Service timber sale (called Thunder Mountain)
  • Spearheading the conservation acquisition of the Loomis State Forest wildlands, as well as the highly successful coalition effort, The Cascades Conservation Partnership

Mitch has two daughters, Jessie and Carrie. He lives in Bellingham, Washington.

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