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Early Environmentalist Passes

By Alabama Public Radio

Birmingham AL – One of Alabama's environmental pioneers has passed away. Mary Burks died last Friday from complications of a stroke at the age of 86. Burks was a former reporter for the old Birmingham Post newspaper, and worked to have part of the Bankhead National Forest in northwest Alabama designated as a wilderness area. The area was ultimately preserved as part of the Sipsey Wilderness Area, one of the first wilderness areas designated east of the Mississippi River. Burks and her husband, Bob Burks, also founded Alabama's first statewide environmental group, the Alabama Conservancy, now known as the Alabama Environmental Council. Burks is survived by her husband, and by a son. Her memorial service will be 2pm Feb. 24th at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

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