Grant McConnell


Served 1957-1993 (36 years) on the NCCC Board

Born in Portland, Oregon, and a longtime resident of Santa Cruz, California, Grant and his family maintained a home in the Stehekin Valley for many years, and spent part of each year there. He was professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

He wrote Stehekin, A Valley In Time (1988, Mountaineers Books) and hosted many NCCC board meetings at “Hostel McConnell” in Stehekin during the years leading up to the designation of North Cascades National Park and the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. He was credited by co-founder Patrick Goldsworthy as having “originated the idea resulting in NCCC.”

In the documentary For Earth’s Sake: The David Brower Story, by John DeGraff, Grant appears greeting Brower on his arrival at Stehekin Landing, and saying it wasn’t difficult to convince Brower to take-on the North Cascades as a cause. Later in the clip there’s a scene in the McConnell home.

[Excerpt from For Earth’s Sake: The David Brower Story, 1989, (c) John DeGraff, used with permission]

From the Reed College website:

Grant valued as his greatest accomplishment his work as a conservationist, especially his role in the establishment of the North Cascades National Park in Washington. His love of the North Cascades began when he and his wife spent three years in the remote Stehekin Valley shortly after the war; in 1968, McConnell witnessed the signing of the legislation that established the park by President Johnson at the White House. In 1988, he published a book about his personal experiences in Stehekin in the ’40s, Stehekin: A Valley in Time. More…

From The University of California website:

One of the pre-eminent political scientists of mid-century, Grant McConnell died at his home in Bonny Doon, California, on September 27, 1993, at age 78. Best known as a strong and influential critic of the dominant role of private interest groups in American politics, Grant is revered today as a visionary in the field of environmental politics and a seminal figure in the study of American political development. More…