Mollie Beattie, 1947 - 1996,
first woman head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Under her watch, the wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 and over 15 national wildlife refuges were added to the wildlife service system.
Upon her death from brain cancer in 1996, President William Clinton wrote:
America lost one of its great spirits with the untimely passing of Mollie Beattie. Mollie was a person who believed in the value of life and wildlife so deeply that she dedicated her many talents to preserving God's gracious Earth.
As the first woman director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mollie presided over a sea change in the administration of the Endangered Species Act by improving the way Government worked. She was the number one advocate for our national wildlife refuges, forever fighting to keep the system strong and growing.
Mollie Beattie's devotion to this Earth and its creatures was passionate, caring, and wise. There is a grace and natural beauty in America; because of Mollie our country has even more of that grace. Hillary and I send our prayers and sympathies to Mollie's family. We will miss her.While the people and places in Yellowstone Howling are works of fiction, Mollie Beattie was a real person and her real words are used, although the times and places have been changed to fit the story. Mollie was not alive during the time of these events, but her spirit still hovers over everything that transpires in the wilderness world so important to all of us.
Mollie has been honored by having a wilderness refuge named after her: the Mollie Beattie Wilderness in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which contains approximately 8,000,000 acres in the Brooks Range, a state forest in Vermont, and also a wolf pack that still hunts together in Yellowstone. R.I.P. Mollie.