BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – One of Bakersfield’s most active and respected environmentalists has died. Lorraine L’Herrou Unger, who died Jan. 9, was a longtime executive board member of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter of the Sierra Club and for a period of time was a member of the organization’s national board. She and her husband Art Unger worked on a number of causes.

Gordon Nipp of the Sierra Club says one of her passions was the Sequoia groves of eastern California.

“She was involved in helping to get the Giant Sequoia National Monument preserved,” Nipp said. Her projects were “one thing after the next. She and Arthur were always testifying before the Kern County Board of Supervisors or the Bakersfield City Council. Sometimes they were the only ones there.”

Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard, a friend, paid tribute Tuesday, saying Lorraine Unger took a balanced approach to her advocacy.

“Lorraine was able to balance both passion and grace as she advocated for the environment, a heartfelt conviction she lived out every day not just in her public, but also in her private life,” Maggard said.

Lorraine Unger would have been 79 next month. 

Members of the local Sierra Club chapter and members of the Unger family are discussing a possible memorial gathering in March – most likely outdoors, respecting Lorraine’s appreciation of nature and COVID-19 health concerns.