The UIAA is saddened to hear about the recent passing of its former Mountain Protection Commission President Linda McMillan.
A delegate from the American Alpine Club (AAC), Linda was an exceptional individual, known for her remarkable contributions as a conservationist and climber. Her passion for mountaineering and commitment to environmental causes made a lasting impact on the organisations and communities she served.
She was President of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission from 2008 to 2016. At the time Linda became only the third woman to become President of a UIAA Commission. She brought a significant amount of experience and enthusiasm to the role having previously supported environmental projects, both as a volunteer and through her professional engagement. This included advocacy work on facing the effects of climate change, the development of stewardship programmes and collaboration projects between national park management and the international climbing community.
One of her first objectives as MPC President was to engage both climbers and mountaineers, notably youngsters, in the conservation process. She said at the time: “Many of the world’s most effective conservationists in history have been rock climbers and mountaineers, and I plan to build on that impressive legacy to help the UIAA and its members gain the recognition and ‘voice’ they deserve in global conservation issues, particularly mountain protection.” Some 15 years later, Linda’s vision remains core to the ethos of the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission and its many projects and international partnerships.
One of the key achievements of Linda’s tenure was the creation of the Mountain Protection Award in 2013. Ten years later and as it marks ten editions in 2023, the Award has become the UIAA’s lighthouse project in sustainability and has made a significant differences to supporting climate and conservation-led initiatives worldwide. Linda was instrumental in the creation of the project.
Linda’s deep understanding of mountain protection and sustainable development were invaluable assets to the UIAA Mountain Protection Commission. Her vision, commitment, and global perspective enriched the commission’s work and helped shape a sustainable future for mountain regions worldwide.
The UIAA sends its condolences to Linda’s family and friends.
Photo courtesy of Linda’s husband, Tom McMillan. An obituary to Linda, supplied by Tom, can be viewed here.