Mollie H Beattie

The Mollie Beattie Coastal Habitat Community
The Mollie Beattie Coastal Habitat Community

Time Period

1940 to Today

Notable Facts

First female Director of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. Served as the Vermont Commissioner of Parks, Forests, and Recreation under Governor Madeleine Kunin. President Clinton named an eight million acre wilderness in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after her.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

04/27/1947

Date of Death

06/27/1996

Primary Residence

Grafton

Ethnicity

Caucasian

Historical Significance

Mollie H. Beattie was the first female Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. She served as the Vermont Commissioner of Parks, Forests, and Recreation under Governor Madeleine Kunin. President Clinton named an eight million acre wilderness in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after her.

Mollie Beattie was born in Glen Cove, New York on April 27, 1947. She received a BA in Philosophy from Marymount College in 1968 and a MS in Forestry from the University of Vermont in 1979. She also earned a Master's degree in public administration from Harvard University in 1991.

From 1983 to 1985, Beattie was Program Director and Lands Manager for the Windham Foundation, which seeks to "preserve and enhance the social, economic, and cultural activities of Vermont's communities and rural life." She left her position there to become Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation until 1989. As Commissioner, she administrated public lands, managed wildlife habitat areas, and operated 48 state parks. From 1989 to 1990, she served as Deputy Secretary of Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources, where she was responsible for fish and wildlife, forestry, public lands, water quality, and energy issues. Beattie also served as Project Director for an experimental game bird habitat program, taught resource management to private landowners for the University of Vermont Extension Service, and was Executive Director of the Richard A. Snelling Center for Government.

In 1993, she became the first female director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, a position she held until her death in 1996. She was responsible for the wildlife service's 7,000 employees and an annual budget of $501 million. The agency enforces wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act and carries out wetland protection and management. As director, Beattie added 15 national wildlife refuges to the system, established 140 habitat conservation plans and began the development for an additional 300. She defended the Endangered Species Act against attacks from Republicans in Congress, fought to maintain the agency's budget, and supported having gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park. She also created the first National Wildlife Refuge Week to increase public awareness about the refuge system.

After her death from brain cancer on June 27, 1996, two areas in the United States were named in honor of her. The Mollie Beattie Coastal Habitat Community is located on Mustang Island in Texas and encompasses 1000 acres. President Clinton signed the Mollie Beattie Wilderness Area Act on July 29, 1996, which named an eight million acre wilderness in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after her. He said, "It ensures that future generations will recall the lasting contributions Mollie made to conserving our Nation's priceless natural heritage."

Organizations or Movements

  • Richard A. Snelling Center for Government
  • Windham Foundation
  • Agency of Natural Resources
  • Fish & Wildlife Service.

Occupations

  • Vermont Commissioner of Parks, Forests, and Recreation
  • Land Manager and Program Director of the Windham Foundation
  • University Extension Service
  • Director of the United States Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Deputy Secretary of Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources
  • Executive Director of the Richard A. Snelling Center for Government in Vermont.

Education

  • BA in Philosophy, Marymount Collge, Tarrytown, New York, (1968)
  • MS in Forestry, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, (1979)
  • Masters in Public Administration, Harvard University, (1991).

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Mollie Beattie Obituary Link

  • Mollie Beattie Coastal Habitat Community Link

  • The Mollie Beattie Story Link

  • White House Press Release Link

  • Cheng, Barbara. Trailblazers: Vermont Women and Leadership Development. Burlington, Vermont: Queen City Printers, 1988.

  • U.S. Department of the Interior Link

  • Wikipedia article on Mollie Beattie Link

Additional Images

Mike Phillips, Jim Evanoff, Molly Beattie, Dir. of USFWS, Mike Finley, YNP Supt. and Bruce Babbitt, Sec. of the Interior carrying first crate with wolf to the Crystal Bench pen; Jim Peaco; Jan. 12, 1995
Mike Phillips, Jim Evanoff, Molly Beattie, Dir. of USFWS, Mike Finley, YNP Supt. and Bruce Babbitt, Sec. of the Interior carrying first crate with wolf to the Crystal Bench pen; Jim Peaco; Jan. 12, 1995