Louise Dunlap was the first woman to become chief executive of a major U.S. national environmental organization. From 1976 until 1986, she was President of the Environmental Policy Institute and Environmental Policy Center, groups she co-founded in 1972 and which under her leadership grew into the largest public-interest environmental lobbying organization in Washington.
She created and led one of most effective campaigns in the history of the US environmental movement: the seven-year national citizens' effort to enact federal legislation, the Surface Mine Control & Reclamation Act of 1977, requiring the coal industry to protect valuable farmlands, streams and wetlands and to reclaim all surface mined lands. Louise continues to be a principal strategist and advocate for community groups throughout the U.S. working for reclamation of abandoned mines and enforcement of surface mining laws. (Dunlap & Browder)