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Congressman Hinchy Receives National Sierra Club Award

SAN FRANCISCO - September 23, 2000 - Representative Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY) was among those receiving national awards from the Sierra Club at this year's annual dinner.

Hinchey received the organization’s Edgar Wayburn Award, which honors outstanding service to the environment by a person in government. Hinchey was nominated by the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club.

In Congress, Hinchey introduced America’s Redrock Wilderness Act and set about to convince as many of his colleagues as possible that this was a cause worth fighting for. In the 106>th Congress, this legislation now has a record total of nearly 160 co-sponsors. He is the U.S. House of Representatives champion for the Utah wilderness.

On a more local level, Hinchey is responsible for the development of the statewide system of Urban Cultural Parks or Heritage Areas. In 1996 Hinchey wrote the federal legislation that established the Hudson Valley as a National Heritage area. Additionally, Hinchey has been a forceful advocate for the clean up and restoration of New York’s PCB-plagued Hudson River.

Hinchey served the New York State Assembly for 18 years, until elected as the New York 26th District Congressional Representative in 1992. During his time as Assemblyman, he served as Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee for 14 years.

Under his leadership, the committee conducted a successful investigation into the causes of Love Canal and developed landmark environmental legislation, including the nation’s first law to control acid rain. He has been a leader of clean air legislation and has fought to hard to ensure the protection of pristine open spaces, preserve the Adirondack and Catskill Parks and clean up toxic waste sites. He has been known as the "environmental conscience" of New York State.

"Congressman Hinchey’s upstanding 25-year record of fighting for legislation at the state and federal level makes him most deserving of this award," said John Stouffer, Legislative Director of the Sierra Club’s Atlantic Chapter. "He has been instrumental in protecting America’s environment by providing steadfast leadership over the years. His outstanding service to the environment proves that he is a man that is true to his convictions."

The Sierra Club, which was founded in 1892 by John Muir, is the country’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. It has more than 600,000 members. For information on the New York Chapter of the Sierra Club, visit them on the web at

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