Cecil Andrus described himself as a "lumberjack and a political accident." He came to Washington, D.C., on the heels of having served as a state senator and as the governor of Idaho. The first Idahoan ever appointed to a presidential Cabinet, Andrus was acquainted with President Carter from when they were both new governors. Andrus was known for his ability to broker bi-partisan compromises. After nearly four years as secretary of the Interior, he was successful in having Congress pass the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). The Act preserved more than 157 million acres of land as new national parks and wildlife refuges, recreational and conservation areas, wild and scenic rivers and national forests. It also re-designated the Fish and Wildlife Service's Arctic National Wildlife Range as part of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Andrus additionally protected five wild rivers in Northern California. In retirement, Andrus founded the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University and published his memoirs.
Portraitist and painting restorer Casimir Stapko was also one of the nation's foremost copyists of famous works of art. Through close ties with the National Gallery of Art, he would paint 50 to 70 works a year.