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Porterville Resident Receives National Sierra Club Award

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 23, 2000 – Porterville resident Carla Cloer has received the 2000 John Muir Award, the highest award the national Sierra Club gives to volunteer environmental activists.

Cloer received the award for her more than 20 years of work to protect the giant sequoia trees in California. Her work culminated in the recent passage of the Giant Sequoia National Monument, which President Clinton signed in to law April 15. The bill made 328,000 acres of Sequoia National Forest a National Monument, thus protecting giant sequoias within the forest from logging.

"If it were not for the work Carla has done during the past 20 years, it is doubtful that we would have a Giant Sequoia National Monument today," said Glenn Shellcross, chair of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Cloer began working on sequoia issues in 1979 when she fought to stop development of the Peppermint Ski Area, which would have threatened three sequoia groves in the Slate Mountain Roadless Area. She became chair of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter’s Sequoia Forest Committee in 1986 and chair of the Sierra Club’s Sequoia Task Force in 1994.

Cloer used a variety of methods – including taking pictures, writing appeals on timber sale projects and pushing for legislation – to stop logging in giant sequoia groves. In 1986 she authored the administrative appeal that was the basis for the Sierra Club lawsuit that stopped modified clearcut logging in the giant sequoia groves in Sequoia National Forest. She also testified before two Congressional committees on behalf of sequoia protection.

"Carla has worked harder than anyone in the Sierra Club for the last 20 years to protect the southern Sierra Nevada, particularly the Sequoia National Forest," said Harold Wood, chair of the Mineral King Group of the Sierra Club. "She has completed John Muir’s dream of preserving the Giant Sequoias from the Kings River to the Kern River and their entire watersheds.

Cloer is a fourth-generation Porterville resident and is currently in her 27th year of teaching elementary school in the town.

The Sierra Club, which was founded in 1892 by John Muir, is the country’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. Find out more about the Sequoia Task Force or the Kern-Kaweah Chapter of the Sierra Club.

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