Honoring Paul Johnson: A Legacy of Public Service, Leadership, and Conservation
by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 30, 2021
"It is now your turn to help paint our portrait on the land."
Paul Johnson, foreword to Iowa: Portrait of the Land (2000)
Paul Johnson (1941 - 2021) was one of Iowa's - and the nation's - great conservationists. An ad hoc group of his family, friends, and colleagues has embarked on a project to remember and honor Paul and his legacy of public service, leadership, and conservation.
Those who knew and worked with Paul appreciated his profound contributions to the stewardship of our lands and waters. Paul cared about it all: the health of soils, the quality of our waters, the diversity of our wildlife, the beauty of our landscapes, the fate of our climate, the well-being of our communities and our democracy. Paul's lifelong commitment to these values inspire those who carry on his work - and will serve the cause of conservation and environmental stewardship for generations yet to come.
Paul was a visionary about the land and its relationship to people and life. He studied, read, worked, discussed, and acted in all aspects of his life as a steward for the land as a precious part of all life. Those who met with him - friend, skeptic, or outright opponent - invariably left with a new perspective and some feeling, responsibility, and encouragement that they could do better.
Paul practiced what he preached and always exhorted others to become engaged citizens and active caretakers of the land. There is no better way to celebrate Paul's legacy than to share his love of land and to encourage others to take action in their own communities and landscapes.
Join friends and supporters to learn more about Paul's work and the efforts of a dedicated group of citizens to extend Paul's legacy at virtual event on December 2 - The Paul W. Johnson Legacy Launch: Advancing a Land Ethic.
About the Author
For 13 years, Ralph Rosenburg served in the state legislature, six years with Paul Johnson. Alongside Paul, Ralph helped lead policy development relating to areas including energy and environment, including the landmark energy efficiency and groundwater protection.
Additionally, Ralph served as the Executive Director of IEC from 2012-2017, where he helped lead efforts to create statewide accountability and solutions for ag pollution in our waterways and for rural and urban support of solar and wind energy.