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Benton MacKaye
Original name: Emile MacKaye
Birth: Mar. 6, 1879
Stamford
Fairfield County
Connecticut, USA
Death: Dec. 11, 1975
Shirley Center
Middlesex County
Massachusetts, USA

Conservationist, planner, and founder of the Appalachian Trail. Benton MacKay grew up in Shirley, Massachusetts and spent most of his life there. In 1935, he co-founded the Wilderness Society with Robert Marshall, Harvey Broome, and Bernard Frank. Benton's part in the founding of The Wilderness Society was one of his two greatest accomplishments. The other was his conceiving of the Appalachian Trail in 1921. Benton MacKaye will always be remembered as the man who proposed this 2000-mile long skyline footpath through wilderness areas from Maine to Georgia. The trail became known as "the backbone of a primeval environment, a sort of refuge from civilization which was becoming too mechanized." He liked to be called "the father of the Appalachian Trail." Benton MacKaye took a B.A. from Harvard in 1900 and an M.A. from Harvard's School of Forestry in 1905 and became a research forester for the U.S. Forest Service. Following the birth of the Appalachian Trail in 1921, he devoted his entire life to the preservation of wild places. He was a pioneer in linking the concepts of preservation and recreation. Spanning three-quarters of a century, his long and productive career had a major impact on emerging movements in conservation, environmentalism, and regional planning. MacKaye's seminal ideas on outdoor recreation, wilderness protection, land-use planning, and community development have inspired generations of activists, professionals, and adventurers seeking to strike a harmonious balance between human need and the natural environment. In addition to his leadership as president of The Wilderness Society and the founder of the Appalachian Trail, he was employed by the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Geological Service, the Indian Service, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. He was also a co-founder of the Regional Planning Association of America. Benton MacKay's indefatigable energy and boundless pursuit of protecting America's wild places have solidified his role as one of the greatest conservationists of the twentieth century. He died of old age in Shirley Center in 1975 at age 96. (bio by: Anthony B) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  James Steele Mackaye (1842 - 1894)
 
 Spouse:
  Jessie Belle Hardy MacKaye (1875 - 1921)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Center Cemetery
Shirley
Middlesex County
Massachusetts, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Anthony B
Record added: Dec 24, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12780668
Benton MacKaye
Added by: Anthony B
 
Benton MacKaye
Added by: Anthony B
 
Benton MacKaye
Cemetery Photo
Added by: The Guardian (inactive)
 
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