by Michele S. Byers, Executive Director, New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Many of New Jersey’s early conservationists were spurred by a crisis, like a beloved open space threatened with an airport, coal plant or more sprawl development. Others, like I. Lloyd Gang, came into conservation out of a deep and abiding love for the outdoors. Lloyd Gang passed away in Massachusetts in May, but he left a huge legacy for all New Jerseyans.
Lloyd was born in the city of Passaic and raised in Glen Ridge, Essex County. He majored in French at Amherst College and served during World War II as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps. After the war, Lloyd graduated from Yale Law School, then practiced law for his entire professional life with Sullivan, Sullivan, Gang & Woods in Passaic and later with Gang & Smith in Montclair.
Lloyd’s passions included the environment and his dogs. “I remember Lloyd as a lovely person who loved the outdoors and thereby became an open space advocate,” recalled Cynthia Kellogg, a former New Jersey Conservation Foundation trustee.
Lloyd enjoyed many outdoor activities, including skiing, sailing, tennis, salmon fishing and upland game hunting. He and his wife, Ruth, bred and raised several generations of German shorthair pointers. “My, how he loved his dogs,” recalled David Moore, former executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
Lloyd’s love of the outdoors drew him to retire to Delaware Township in Hunterdon County, with its bucolic landscapes, abundant wildlife and historic preservation.
Lloyd was a longtime New Jersey Conservation Foundation board member, and president from 1989 to 1992. He took the “long view” on the benefits of conservation. “Like many people who led New Jersey Conservation Foundation, he had an understanding that we were acting on behalf of our great-grandchildren and further on,” said Dave Moore.
Lloyd served on then-Governor Richard Hughes’ landmark “New Jersey Commission to Study Meadowland Development” in 1963. The Commission did the groundwork that resulted in the Hackensack Meadowlands Reclamation and Development Act of 1969, setting a region of dumps on a path to environmental recovery.
In 1996, he and Ruth helped establish the Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance, which has now preserved over 4,000 acres of farmland and open space in Hunterdon County. He was an active member and former president of the Amwell Valley Conservancy. Lloyd and Ruth were active with the Delaware River Mill Society, as well as the Friends of the Locktown Church and the Delaware Township government.
Noted for his cool demeanor when civic tempers rose, Lloyd always kept his wits and witticisms about him. Anywhere you find substance and rational discourse elevated over style and political rhetoric, you will find Lloyd Gang’s fingerprints.
I was fortunate to become close friends with Lloyd and Ruth, and we spent wonderful times traveling together throughout New Jersey, England and Scotland. Lloyd was a loyal and compassionate friend, a mentor, and an intelligent and thoughtful leader.
Will Rogers was famous for saying, “Buy land. They ain’t making any more of the stuff.” I hope the same is not true for people, because we need more like Lloyd Gang!
If you’d like more information about conserving New Jersey’s precious land and natural resources, please visit the New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s website at www.njconservation.org or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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