In memorium: Ned Fritz

December 22nd, 2008

Conservationists were saddened to learn of the passing this weekend of Edward C. “Ned” Fritz. Mr. Fritz was a founder of our organization in 1970, and the boards of directors and staff of the Texas League of Conservation Voters and TLCV Educational Fund extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Dubbed the Father of Texas Conservation by the Nature Conservancy, Ned Fritz was a founder and leader of a variety of conservation and environmental organizations, including the Nature Conservancy in Texas and the Texas Land Conservancy. TLCV board member David Todd remarked to the Austin American Statesman, “He was a firebrand; he was so outspoken about things,” who later became, “very spiritual, poetic, really, about nature.”

In July 1970, Ned Fritz and four other conservationists (P. Burgess Geirsenbeck, Dr. Daniel E. Willard, Margaret Louise Hancock and Dr. M. Lea Rudee) sent a letter to key Texans announcing the founding of the Texas League:

It is with great pleasure that we announce the formation of the Texas League of Conservation Voters. The League is a nonpartisan campaign committee which gives active support to legislators working to protect the environment. We base our decisions upon the advice and information of conservation leaders from many groups. Our goal is to prove that issues like pollution, population, and conservation can decide an election, thus greatly increasing the political pull of all groups working on these problems.

The League’s primary purposes are three fold: (1) to keep a record of the decisions and votes of all elected public officials in Texas; (2) to endorse those candidates for state and local election whose record or platform demonstrate their environmental concern; (3) to inform the various conservation organizations and the public at large on these issues.

Donations to the League will be used to defray office and travel expenses for the State Coordinator and for assisting strong conservation candidates through paid ads or direct contributions.

….Please help us by donating and getting your friends to make their donation.

Today, Texas League of Conservation Voters still adheres to those primary purposes. We work each day to turn environmental values into priorities for Texas officials by educating, advocating and acting in spirited defense of what makes Texas special – our air, our land and our water.

We owe a tremendous debt of gratitute to Ned Fritz, and mourn his passing.

The League is accepting memorial contributions in memory of Ned Fritz. Gifts of any amount are accepted, and will be used to pay for legislative advocacy and other key League programs in fulfillment of our organization’s three original purposes. You may choose to make your gift online or by mailing a check to: TLCV, 44 East Avenue, Austin, TX 78701.

There will be a memorial service for Ned Fritz Friday, January 2, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church in Dallas.