Environmental activist, Colorado River guide, World War II pilot, former Sierra Club board member, and former Sunset Magazine travel editor Martin Litton passed away on Sunday at the age of 97. He was an outspoken and uncompromising advocate for protecting wild places, including Mono Lake. At the age of 18, he wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the Los Angeles Times on October 27, 1935:
To Save Mono Lake
INGLEWOOD, Oct 21.—[To the Editor of The Times:] For the disappearance of Owens Lake there is some excuse. Los Angeles really needed the water. But when our City of the Angels will wantonly dry up beautiful, mysterious Mono Lake to selfishly add a few unnecessary gallons to an already adequate supply, things are going a little too far. The people of the Owens Valley region are already deeply resentful toward the great city which has made their once fertile and productive land into a barren desert waste. The people of the entire State should rise up against the destruction of Mono Lake. Mono Lake is a gem—among California’s greatest scenic attractions—a beautiful and historic landmark which must not be destroyed.
Top photo courtesy of Outside Online.