Liane Brauch “Lee” Russell (August 27, 1923 to July 20, 2019)

Liane B. Russell

August 27, 1923—July 20, 2019

Lee Russell, our cofounder, Board member, newsletter editor, and treasure of historical and scientific environmental advocacy knowledge, died on July 20. Her scientific research in mammalian genetics is world-renowned. She built her career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she discovered that the presence of the Y-chromosome determines male sex and that only one of the X chromosomes is active in females. She was a member of the National Academy of Science and she received the US Department of Energy's highest research honor, the Enrico Fermi Award.

Her devotion to protecting Tennessee’s wild lands and waters was no less groundbreaking. Under her leadership, along with others, the unique beauty of the Obed River was saved from being dammed through the designation of the Obed Wild and Scenic River. The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is another living monument to the conservation work of Lee and her husband Bill. Legislation for National and State Trails Systems was a project of Lee and Bill that led to the TCWP-built and -maintained North Ridge Trail in Oak Ridge.

We who worked with Lee over the years admired her indomitable will, her insatiable curiosity, and her insistence on factual information. She was perceptive and sensitive, self-deprecating, and appreciative of small kindnesses.

Lee and Bill protected many acres of wild lands through land donations and conservation easements. They supported sister organizations that advocate for wild lands and waters.

We salute Lee Russell with fondness, respect, and gratitude for all she did.
Local television news coverage July 22, 2019

Upcoming Events

Our natural lands and waters are threatened by degradation or development. See how TCWP identifies, researches, and fights these threats.

TCWP maintains trails and controls exotic invasive species to protect areas and provide opportunities for outdoor exercise and fellowship.

TCWP organizes free outings and special events for all to enjoy. Experience Tennessee’s wild lands and waters firsthand.

MISSION: TCWP is dedicated to protecting natural lands and waters by means of public ownership, legislation, or cooperation of the private sector. Our efforts focus on the Cumberland and Appalachian regions of East Tennessee, but may extend to the rest of the state and the nation.