This is a proud legacy to leave for future generations—and one that we should protect vigilantly at all costs. For as the late conservationist Peter Behr would remind us, "Conservation victories can be temporary, while the losses are permanent." The battle is never over.

~ L. Martin (Marty) Griffin, M.D., local conservationist, physician, public health advocate, ACR Founder and Emeritus Director

ACR Founder Marty Griffin wrote the above words in his book Saving the Marin-Sonoma Coast, where he tells the dramatic story of local conservationists—including himself—whose passion and daring succeeded in defending wildlife habitats, defeating runaway growth and opening the door to a new environmental ethic...forever protecting wild landscapes and transforming the political landscape of Marin and Sonoma counties. Marty's words and actions continue to inspire us every day.

Saving Wildlands in the North Bay and Beyond

A conservationist since the 1950s, Marty was instrumental in the creation of Audubon Canyon Ranch, prevention of a coastal freeway and aqueduct, and the preservation of sanctuaries on Bolinas Lagoon, Tomales Bay, Sonoma Creek and Point Reyes. Thanks to the efforts of Marty and like-minded conservationists, the coastline of Marin County was rescued from commercial development and held in permanent trust for the public.

Marty's preservation work extended beyond the coastal wildlands. He was a co-founder of The Environmental Forum of Marin, established a wildlife preserve in Haleakala National Park, participated in wildlife work in Nepal and was elected a director of the Marin Municipal Water District. In 1990, Marty founded the Russian River Task Force, the Russian River Environmental Forum and Friends of the Russian River, which became Russian RiverKeeper.

A recent article by the National Park Service reminds us of the broad impact of his life work...at ACR and beyond.

A Dedicated Conservationist and Physician

Marty's love of the outdoors started at a young age and grew as he did. Reading his letter to family after hiking the John Muir Trail in 1938 gives us insight into the young man who would later dedicate his life to protecting the landscapes he loves.

In addition to his career as a preservationist in the United States and abroad, Marty is a distinguished physician and public health innovator. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II, helped establish the Ross Valley Clinic, Ross General Hospital, Kentfield Psychiatric Hospital and the Tamalpais Retirement Center. He served as the Chief of Medicine at Marin General and Ross hospitals and well as Public Health Officer at the Sonoma Development Center. Marty resides in Belvedere with his wife Joyce. He has four daughters.

In 1989, he was honored by the State of California for his esteemed career in public health.

Rebels with a Cause: Marty Griffin, Huey Johnson and others

The documentary Rebels with a Cause details the battles by local conservationists to stop planned development along the Marin County coastline.

"My friend Huey Johnson helped Audubon Canyon Ranch save the Point Reyes Peninsula when he handed over from ACR to the Marin Supervisors a gift deed to 87-acre Kent Island," said Marty recently. "It became the first parcel of the new Marin Open Space District. Then in 1967 I had to raise $85,000 to pay for it!"

Saving the Marin Sonoma Coast: Available for Download

Visit Marty's website to read more about his lifetime of accomplishments and download chapters of his book, Saving the Marin-Sonoma Coast.

Marty Griffin and ACR: A Video about an Unwavering Conservationist

Watch this inspiring mini-documentary about Marty's quest to protect the landscape he loves—and inspire others to join him. Starting with the then-polluted Bolinas Lagoon, Marty tells the story of saving the lagoon, forming Audubon Canyon Ranch, and continuing his conservation battles up the coast to Tomales Bay.