The Murie Ranch
Just two miles west of Moose, Wyoming on the south fork of the Snake River sits a small enclave of buildings nestled in a meadow of sage and sticky geranium. The ranch is surrounded by dense forest. It was here, on this unassuming site, that the Wilderness Act and the modern conservation movement were born.
The Murie Ranch Historic District is an inholding in Grand Teton National Park. The district is chiefly significant for its association with the conservationists Olaus Murie, his wife Margaret (Mardy) Murie and scientist Adolph Murie and his wife Louise. Olaus and Adolph Murie were influential in the establishment of an ecological approach to wildlife management, carrying out research on predators as participants in an ecosystem rather than as isolated organisms. Olaus Murie was president of the Wilderness Society, and was an advocate for the preservation of wild lands in America.
The Murie Ranch was designated a National Historic Landmark on February 21, 2006. This designation formally recognizes the contributions of the Murie families to wildlife management and biological science as well as to the 20th century conservation movement. National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) are the actual sites where significant historical events occurred, or where prominent Americans worked or lived. NHLs represent the ideas that shaped our nation. This designation is the highest recognition given to historical properties in the United States.
The Murie Ranch – described by Olaus Murie as the heart of American wilderness – became the backdrop for discussion and debate among the Murie family and other environmental leaders, which shaped the conservation movement, culminating with the passage of the Wilderness Act and the protection of numerous nationally designated wild areas.