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Montrose Resident Receives Top National Sierra Club Award

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 24, 1999 – Montrose, Calif. resident Judy Anderson has received the 1999 John Muir Award, the highest award the national Sierra Club gives to volunteer environmental activists.

Anderson received the award for her contributions to the passage of the California Desert Protection Act of 1994, a bill that increased the levels of protection on 9 million acres of land by creating two national parks, one national preserve, and 69 Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas.

"The success of the California Desert Protection Act was the Sierra Club’s greatest public land success of the decade and without Judy Anderson’s efforts, it is extremely doubtful that the Act would have passed," said Sierra Club President Chuck McGrady.

Anderson chaired the California Desert Protection League of 120 environmental organizations and held that coalition together from 1985 through 1994. She went to school to learn map-making and headed the effort that drew the more than 120 maps that were the heart of the bill introduced by former California Senator Alan Cranston in 1986.

"The federal government had no maps comparable to the ones prepared by Anderson and her crew," said Frank Wheat, author of the 1998 book, California Desert Miracle (Sunbelt Publications). "This enhanced the respect with which the Bill was regarded by legislators who were uncommitted to the legislation."

Anderson also was an important witness in many congressional hearings.

Today, Anderson continues to monitor Bureau of Land Management wilderness activities and to assure that new wildernesses are properly cared for.

Anderson also has served as a member of the Sierra Club’s Conservation Governance Committee and its Wild Planet Strategy Team. She previously received a Special Service Award from the Club in 1997.

The Sierra Club, which was founded in 1892 by John Muir, is the country’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. It currently has nearly 600,000 members.


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