Doug was born in Vancouver, Washington in 1944 and raised on the outskirts of Portland, with easy access to the Columbia River Gorge and the Cascade Range. From junior high school he was an ardent backpacker and climber with the local mountaineering club and taught in their climbing school.
After time at three other colleges and universities, Doug found his vocation at the School of Natural Resources, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in forestry in 1966. A trip to the wilderness of Isle Royale National Park in Lake superior changed his life; he found himself testifying the National Park Service's field hearing on their inadequate preliminary wilderness recommendation for the park, met a mentor from The Wilderness Society, and never looked back. He remained in Ann Arbor for four more years to research his master's thesis on the “Origins and Legislative Strategy of Drafting the Wilderness Bill, 1930 to 1956”, then moved to Washington to workas a lobbyist for The Wilderness Society.
On the basis of his academic research and his own practical experience, Doug wrote and “The Enduring Wilderness: Protecting Our Natural Heritage Through the Wilderness Act” [link] and ”Our Wilderness: America's Common Ground” [link], both published by Fulcrum Books. He serves on the board of The Wilderness Land Trust [link] and chairs the board of the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance [link].
Doug and his former wife met as lobbyists working on the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. They honeymooned on a 330-mile canoe trip down the Noatak River through the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and the Noatak National Preserve to the Bering Sea. They are the parents of two daughters now in their late 20s. When their girls were younger, Doug took a time away from his wilderness work so they could be raised in a green and safe setting on San Juan Island in Puget Sound, where he managed the local community theater and the local environmental group.
In 1997 the Sierra Club presented him its highest honor, the John Muir Award.
Doug says that he was extraordinarily fortunate to come into the wilderness movement at a time when the staffs of the national organizations were tiny and the lobbying demands so great that he became a frontline wilderness lobbyist from day one. "To work with champions of the Wilderness Act itself, in the advocacy groups and on the Hill, was the greatest privilege of my life. To become close friends with Senator Frank Church (D-ID) and Congressman John P. Saylor (R-PA), two of the leading champions of the law, and for Rep. Morris K. “Mo” Udall (D-AZ) gave me insights into their work and philosophies that I feel it is my duty to pass along to younger people through my writing and talks as a stimulus for their work."