If you are interested in learning the history behind one of the biggest conservation success stories over the past three decades in Alabama, tune in to APTV this week.
Forever Wild: The James D. Martin Story” chronicles the life of the former Alabama congressman who served as director of Alabama’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Through his leadership, the state’s Forever Wild Program was established in 1992 by constitutional amendment. Since then, the program has preserved over 300,000 acres of land – forever.
The documentary about Martin’s extraordinary life premieres on APTV Monday evening, November 9, at 9:00 p.m.
From World War to Forever Wild
The story of Jim Martin (everyone called him Jim) begins in the closing days of World War II, when he was one of the first Americans to discover a Nazi concentration camp and observe the worst of what man can do to his fellow man. The next day he served as a guide for Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and other top U.S. generals who wanted to see the camp.
In the early 1960s, Martin was one of the first Republicans to seriously challenge the lock on Alabama politics held by the Democratic Party, nearly defeating incumbent J. Lister Hill in the race for the U.S. Senate in 1962. Martin served one term in the U.S. House from 1965-1967. Although Martin was unsuccessful in several later campaigns for office, he continued to have an important impact on state politics.
Later, at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Martin pressed oil companies to pay fair royalties to the state for oil pumped from Alabama coastal waters, fought to preserve Alabama’s coastal boundaries, and founded Alabama’s Forever Wild program to preserve wild areas for everyone to enjoy.
The documentary was produced by Jacksonville State University’s Longleaf Studios with Alabama Public Television.
Learn More About Forever Wild
Before you watch the documentary make sure to learn about the Forever Wild Program in Alabama.
Here are a series of articles that were published in Bham Now about the successful program.