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Audio Slideshow: Robert Redford Reflects on 40 Years of Activism


Robert Redford is one of those Hollywood icons who was never content to be a celebrity. He wanted to put his fame and fortune to good use, and he's done that through tireless advocacy on behalf of the environment. A trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council since 1974, Redford was an early proponent of renewable energy and has been a fierce protector of Western wildlands. In an OnEarth interview, Redford reflects on a lifetime of environmental activism, his love for the West, and why -- on its 40th anniversary -- Earth Day should be more important than ever. Hear excerpts above or read the whole interview.

View more photographs of Robert Redford's favorite western landscapes at LIFE.com. 

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Emily Voigt is a freelance writer and producer in New York. Her work has appeared in the science section of The New York Times and on "This American Life," among other places. She is the recipient of a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship from the... READ MORE >

How lucky is the planet to have this beautiful man's voice/actions to protect it for future generations. And he has been doing so long before it was "the thing" to do; quietly, but aggresively. Unassuming, loaded with character, integrity, brains and talent. Years ago as a teenager, I read a Sunday NY Times cover story about how his home was powered by Solar energy and how his heart was in conservation. When he leaves us, he goes straight to Heaven, for sure. God Bless you Mr. Redford. I have loved you forever.

Thank you Mr. Redford.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do!

Yes, it does take a long time to evolve but it will happen. And, it will happen because you and so many like you have stuck with it and never gave up.

I also wish to say Thank You to Robert Redford. He has been a positive role model and mentor to me through the years, steadfast and consistent in purpose, wise in decisions. He taught me that "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" and every voice is important when it comes to good stewardship. I have only to reflect on my time at Sundance and hear his words to be re-energized for the battles ahead. Thank you for everything, Mr Redford.

Mr Redford, I loved you in the movies but I love you more for all you have done. Thank you for doing what we can not come close to doing. I would give anything to be able to see the beauty you see and help keep it all beautiful.

Mr. Redford's passionate eloquence is an inspiration.

Over the past year I have had the opportunity to travel to Utah numerous times including Park City, the Sundance area and the areas around. It is not hard to see the beauty that Redford sees and works tirelessly to preserve. It is one of the few nearly untouched areas left. I can only hope he sees even more preservation projects happen in the near future. Thank you Mr.
Redford for staying committed to something that benefits all of us.