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Biographies Unit Biographies

Margaret Wentworth Owings 1913–1999
Saved California's Wilderness

Margaret Wentworth Owings was a fierce defender of California's wilderness and the animals who lived in it. She felt so strongly about California's environment that she devoted her life to protecting it.

Owings was born in Berkeley and attended Mills College. She began her fight to save California's wilderness in the 1940s. She led the effort to save the beaches between the Carmel River and the Point Lobos State Reserve. She started a group that works to protect the endangered California sea otter. She helped to outlaw the hunting of mountain lions in California. She worked to keep the giant redwood trees from being cut down to make room for highways. She helped save the beautiful Big Sur coast from being developed by builders.

Much of California's wilderness was saved because of Margaret Wentworth Owings. She remains a hero of the conservation movement.

Comprehension Check

Which of the following did Owings help to protect?

Critical Thinking

Do you think Owings was a hero? Explain your answer.