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Sierra Club Announces 1999 National Award Winners

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 24, 1999 – Eighteen environmental activists from around the country were honored as the Sierra Club held its Annual Dinner at the Delancey Street Foundation.

The club’s top award, the John Muir Award, went to California resident Judy Anderson for her work in shaping and securing 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.

She also was an important witness in many congressional hearings on the bill. Anderson previously received a Special Service Award from the Club in 1997.

A new award, the One Club Award, which recognizes people who use outings as a way to instill an interest in conservation and protecting public lands, was given to Maui resident Mary Evanson.

Evanson has spearheaded dozens of successful conservation campaigns on Maui over the past 20 years through organizing hikes, service trips, educational forums and tours of threatened areas. The award included a $1,000 prize that will help Evanson and other activists in their efforts to preserve the last wild coastline in South Maui.

The Joseph Barbosa Earth Fund Award, which honors club members under age 30 who have demonstrated a commitment to the environment, was given to Elizabeth Hagan of the Sierra Student Coalition.

Hagan took a year off from college to organize several campaigns for the Sierra Student Coalition, including a campaign to save the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada, and a campaign to preserve the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

She also organized the Coalition’s first Public Lands Action Summit in Washington, D.C., and worked with the Sierra Club of British Columbia to plan the Sierra Club Rainforest Bus Tour that went to colleges in the eastern United States.

Hagan is from Atlanta and is a sophomore at Harvard, majoring in public policy. Her award included a $2,000 prize that will help the Sierra Student Coalition sponsor its second Public Lands Action Summit in Washington, D.C., next spring.

Another new award, the Electronic Communication Award, was given to Josh Weisman, Jeffrey Solari and Will Easton of San Francisco for their development of the Sierra Club’s sprawl website.


Others receiving awards for 1999 included the following:

The Edgar Wayburn Award (for service to the environmental cause by a person in government): Former Arkansas Governor and U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers.

The David R. Brower Award (for excellence in environmental journalism): Tom Kenworthy of the Washington Post Denver Office.

The William O. Douglas Award (for contributions in the field of environmental law): Tony Ruckel of Denver, Colorado.

The Walter A. Starr Award (for continuing support of the Club by a former director): Helen Burke of the Club’s San Francisco Bay Chapter.

The Oliver Kehrlein Award (for outstanding service to the club’s Outings program): Herbert Carlton of Greenville, North Carolina.

Special Achievement Award (recognizes a single act of importance dedicated to conservation):Dick Simpson of Palo Alto, California.

Special Service Awards (for strong and consistent commitment to conservation over an extended period of time): Richard Hellard of Juneau, Alaska; Jono Miller of Sarasota, Florida; Laurie Macdonald of St. Petersburg, Florida; and Lucille Vinyard of Trinidad, California.

Newsletter Award: The Georgia Sierran (Georgia Chapter), Toiyabe Trails (Toiyabe Chapter) and It’s Our Nature (Fox Valley Group).


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