In commenting on Mardy's special skills of persuasion, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director John Turner notes, "She is always tough in her resource stands and her principles, but she is kind and gentle with her adversaries. She always treats people with respect, whether they are ranchers, miners, or loggers, and that's why she is so respected beyond conservation circles." Adds Phil Hocker, an environmental activist who moved to Jackson in 1972 and who recently ran the Mineral Policy Center, a mining reform advocacy group, "There's an old Quaker expression: speak truth to power. I've seen Mardy testify at hearings . . . and even in the face of hostile questioning by members of Congress she has an ability to convey a sense of permanent values and truths that go beyond the controversies and the perceived needs and issues of the moment. And that's very powerful and very inspiring."
At a recent reception hosted by the Wilderness Society, Katie McGinty, chairman of the President's Council on Environmental Quality, told leaders of the environmental community that when Mardy met President and Mrs. Clinton in Wyoming in 1996, she helped secure a commitment from him to oppose attempts to allow oil drilling within the boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. McGinty then turned to Mardy and said, "If you were that effective with the President in that short of time, does anyone know where Sen. Murkowski (the junior pro-development senator from Alaska) is? And how long are you going to be in Washington?" Mardy smiled and said, "How many hours do we need?"
In his toast to the guest of honor, Wilderness Society president William H. Meadows said, "For most of us, the goal in life is to do one thing well. But Mardy has always done many things well. She made such an impact because she was adept in the world of sciences, the halls of politics, and the realm of the soul. . . . Mardy has also passed on something less tangible: inspiration for so many of us to keep on protecting America's national treasures."
Mardy cross country skiing outside her home in Moose, Wyoming.