Thursday, March 19, 2015

Heckenlaible walks on



Kevin Woster calls Gary Heckenlaible an old-school environmentalist:
He was for decades a prominent and, I thought, well-spoken voice for environmentalists in the Black Hills, on mining and other issues. He was old school in a way that I appreciate. To me, that means that his commitment to environmental issues seemed deeply rooted in a love for the land and water and air, for the future or our place, not just in political causes or angry rhetoric. Although, he was plenty good at rhetoric, too, angry and otherwise. That essential movement will be less without him. [Tell Kevin]
From the Rapid City Journal:
Gary used his community organizing degree to work all over the United States organizing housing and making health care available to poor people and other related issues. The joy he received from working with people was the love of his life. For many years Gary lived in the Black Hills and organized to protect the environment. He also cherished the many friendships he made in this area and considered them a second family. He also enjoyed hiking in the Black Hills, Badlands, and Utah. [obituary]
We worked together on a strip mine moratorium in Lawrence County that failed at the ballot. His fiery style often put him crossways with another power in South Dakota politics, Bill Janklow.

With uncanny accuracy Heckenlaible predicted the failure of the Gilt Edge Mine south of Deadwood now a Superfund site. He was also a strong champion for reproductive rights and a valiant opponent of the Dewey Burdock uranium mine.

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