Chicago Resident Receives National Sierra Club Award
SAN FRANCISCO Sept. 23, 2000 A 25-year-old Chicago resident who has been
involved with conservation campaigns across the country was among those receiving awards
from the national Sierra Club this year.
Patrick Murphy received the Clubs Joseph Barbosa Earth Fund Award, which
recognizes people under the age of 30 who demonstrate a commitment to protecting the
environment. The award includes a $2,000 cash prize funded by Dr. Joseph Barbosa of
Minnesota. Murphy received the award at the Sierra Clubs annual awards banquet in
San Francisco Sept. 23.
Murphys involvement in conservation activities began in 1995, when he
participated in a Sierra Club activist outing to Utah. Upon returning to Chicago, he
become a founder and co-chair of the Sierra Club Illinois Chapters Utah Wilderness
Task Force, a group that has since grown to include 265 members. Murphy was instrumental
in getting Illinoiss Democratic and Republican U.S. Senators, as well as several
congressmen, to cosponsor "Americas Redrock Wilderness Act," which would
secure protection for more than 9 million acres of Utah wilderness.
"Patrick is a great motivator of other volunteers, and has an innate sense of
strategy and tactics for issue campaigns," said Clayton Daughenbaugh, Murphys
co-chair on the Utah Wilderness Task Force. "And no one works harder."
Murphys work on the Utah Task Force led to his becoming national Conservation
Director for the Sierra Student Coalition, the student arm of the Sierra Club, in 1999. In
this position, he played a leading role in preparing the coalitions Public Lands
Action Summit in February. The event brought 100 students to Washington, D.C for a weekend
of training on public lands issues, organizing skills and lobbying.
Murphy also planned the Sierra Student Coalitions first "activist
outing" to Utah and has been a coordinator of the coalitions work on Utah,
Alaska, the National Forest roadless initiative, and world trade. In addition, he has
helped train numerous Sierra Student Coalition members.
"Patricks enthusiastic activism inspires people of all ages, not only the
young," said Vicky Hoover, chair of the Sierra Clubs Activist Outing
"Over the past year, Patrick has proven himself to be one of the finest leaders in
the history of the Sierra Student Coalition," added the Coalitions national
director, David Karpf.
Murphy also is a member of the Sierra Clubs National Conservation Governance
Committee, a position in which he helps craft the Clubs national conservation
policies and procedures. In 1999, Murphy also was elected a member of the Executive
Committee of the Chicago Group of the Sierra Clubs Illinois Chapter.
The money Murphy receives for the Barbosa Award will be divided between the Sierra
Student Coalition, which will use it to support next years Public Lands Action
Summit, and the National Utah Wilderness Task Force, will use it to support its
state-based campaign activities.
The Sierra Club, which was founded in 1892 by John Muir, is the countrys oldest
and largest grassroots environmental organization. It currently has more than 600,000
members. For more information on the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, visit their website at