Ruth Sheperd Interview

Ruth Shepherd was one of the first women pioneers in the Louisiana environmental movement. She credited her inspiration for the protection of the earth to Rachel Carson, her hero. She started her activism in 1978 when the High Hope Road Committee (HHRC) was founded in Calcasieu Parish to address the hazardous waste landfill located in the Willow Springs community, established by slaves in the 1800s. The HHRC was one of the first groups to cross the boundaries of race and African Americans and whites worked as a team. Ruth was a founding member and served as president of Calcasieu League for Environmental Action Now, Inc. (CLEAN) founded in 1982. Ruth’s participation in the environmental movement was instrumental in the closure of the BFI/CECOS Willow Springs landfill in 1984. Until her death in 2006, at age 84, Ruth was an avid environmentalist. Audio interview with Ruth Sheperd for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.