Women in History Inspiring Future Leaders

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What started as Women’s History Week in March of 1981 expanded to become Women’s History Month by 1987, and every year, March is recognized as Women’s History Month by Presidential Proclamation. Today we celebrate the achievements of women in our American story. Here we honor women who were pioneers in their fields of science, environmentalism, leadership, and adventurism. We invite you to take a moment to learn a little more about these remarkable women and some of the public land destinations that honor the legacies of women in American history.

Generations of women led the way in the outdoors – now it's your turn

For centuries, women have made notable contributions to environmental movements, land conservation, and the establishment of our public lands and waters. Today, women of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences continue to play an essential role in environmental conservation, outdoor recreation, and land management across the country.

Rachel Carson, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and writer, was the author of the seminal 1962 book Silent Spring. Her research and advocacy in the 1950s and ’60s led to the banning of the pesticide DDT and raised environmental awareness in the United States and around the world.

Rusty Dow, a female truck driver for the Army Engineers Alaska Defense Command, drove a truck through Alaskan blizzards, over dog trails, and on primitive roads with no accidents during WWII. “This is the story of a woman who actually does a man’s job in this war,” stated the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in a 1943 article.

Barbara Ann Sutteer was the second Native American woman to become a superintendent in the National Park Service in 1989. Barbara spent her career advocating for representation of Native American people, cultures, and stories in National Park Service units, including Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Devil’s Tower National Monument, and Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.

A female firefighter ignites a prescribed fire on a brush pile in the fall

Shasta-Trinity National Forest (Andrew Avitt, US Forest Service)

Today, women support our public lands and waters as park rangers, firefighters, scientists, researchers, law enforcement officers, trail crew members, and more. More women and girls are also finding their home exploring the great outdoors. Our public lands welcome women and girls of all ages, backgrounds, gender identities, interests, and abilities. Whether you hit the trail, grab a paddle, hop in the saddle, swim, fish, or bike – don’t forget to share your story with us, we can’t wait to hear it!

Bring Home a Story