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Palo Alto Resident Receives National Sierra Club Award

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 24, 1999 –Palo Alto resident Dick Simpson was among those receiving national awards from the Sierra Club this year.

Simpson received the Special Achievement Award for his work in relocating one of the Club’s four ski/snowshoe huts in the Lake Tahoe area.

The Bradley Hut was originally built in the Five Lakes Basin (between the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski resorts) in 1957 as a memorial to Josephine Bradley, wife of former Sierra Club president Harold C. Bradley.

In 1984, Congress designated the Five Lakes Basin as part of the new Granite Chief Wilderness. Wilderness areas are not allowed to contain any man-made structures. In 1994, the U. S. Forest Service, which oversees the nation’s Wilderness areas, asked the Sierra Club to relocate the Bradley Hut outside the Wilderness area.

Removal of the old hut from within the wilderness area was completed in the fall of 1996. Reconstruction of the hut on a new site on Pole Creek near Squaw Valley about four miles north of the original hut site was completed in November 1998, in time for the 1998-99 winter season. More than 100 volunteers participated in an estimated 20 work parties to demolish the original hut and construct the new Bradley Hut. It was the first Sierra Club hut to be built since the 1950s. The new hut is already a popular destination for cross-country skiers.

"It is a thrill to have the hut in operation again," said Vicky Hoover, a member of the Sierra Club’s National Outing Committee. "It could not have happened without the untiring efforts of Dick Simpson."

Simpson raised more than half the funds for the project, including a $15,000 grant from Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI).

Simpson has been previously recognized for his work on the Bradley Hut project by the U.S. Forest Service, which awarded him a certificate of appreciation for his "leadership and strong commitment to the restoration of the Five Lakes area of the Granite Chief Wilderness." The Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club also gave Simpson a Special Recognition Award in May 1998.

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.

The new Bradley Hut provides rustic overnight sleeping accommodations for about 15 people and is available for use from October 15 – May 1. Cost is $10 per person per night. For information on Sierra Club huts in the Lake Tahoe area, visit the Clair Tappaan Lodge on the web.

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