Sierra Club Announces 2000 National Awards
SAN FRANCISCO Sept. 23, 2000 A California schoolteacher who has spent
more than 20 years trying to protect giant sequoia groves in the Sierra Nevada, a New York
congressman who is leading the fight for protection of Utahs Redrock wilderness and
a Washington Post reporter who exposed questionable practices within the Army Corps
of Engineers were among those receiving national awards from the Sierra Club this year.
The clubs top award, the John Muir Award, went to Porterville, Calif., resident
Carla Cloer for her work to protect the giant sequoia trees in California. Cloer was
instrumental in securing passage of the Giant Sequoia National Monument, which President
Clinton signed into law April 15. The bill declared 328,000 acres of Sequoia National
Forest a National Monument, which will protect sequoia groves in 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 Sierra
Club President Robert Cox.
New York Congressman Maurice Hinchey received the clubs Edgar Wayburn Award,
which honors service to the environment by a person in government. Hinchey has represented
New Yorks 26th Congressional District since 1993. Since his first term in
Congress, Rep. Hinchey has championed the Utah Wilderness bill, now known as
"Americas Redrock Wilderness Act" and has persuaded numerous Congressional
representatives to endorse this legislation, which would secure protection for more than 9
million acres of Utah wilderness. He also helped secure federal funds to help preserve the
Sterling Forest in New Jersey.
Washington Post reporter Michael Grunwald received the clubs David Brower
Award for environmental journalism for his series of investigative reports on the Army
Corps of Engineers. The series, which involved more than 1,000 interviews and examination
of tens of thousands of pages of documents, found that the Corps is converting its strong
congressional relationships into billions of dollars worth of taxpayer-funded water
projects, many with significant environmental costs and minimal economic benefit.
"Michael has written the most definitive series of articles about the Corps of
Engineers and their destruction of American rivers ever produced," Cox said.
Grunwald began his work on the Corps of Engineers stories in November 1999, when the Post
named him a national enterprise reporter. His articles exposing the Corps
manipulation of data to justify destructive water projects like new locks on the
Mississippi River have sparked congressional investigations, a National Academy of
Sciences investigation, a Defense Department investigation, congressional hearings and
nationwide calls for independent review of proposed and existing Corps water projects. The
articles have been reprinted in newspapers across the country.
The Joseph Barbosa Earth Fund Award, which honors persons under age 30 who have
demonstrated a commitment to the environment, was given to Chicago resident Patrick
Murphy is a founder and co-chair of the Sierra Club Illinois Chapters Utah
Wilderness Task Force and national conservation director for the Sierra Student Coalition,
the student arm of the Sierra Club. He also is a member of the Sierra Clubs National
Conservation Governance Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of the Chicago
Group of the Sierra Clubs Illinois Chapter.
Murphys award included a $2,000 prize from the Joseph Barbosa Earth Fund that
will be divided between the Sierra Student Coalition and the National Utah Wilderness Task
Force to help further Murphys work with those organizations.
Others receiving Sierra Club awards for 2000 included the following:
The Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography: Clyde Butcher of Ochopee, Fla.
The William O. Douglas Award (for contributions in the field of environmental law):
Eric Huber of New Orleans, La.
The Raymond Sherwin International Award (for international conservation): Beth
Clark of the Antarctica Project.
The Chico Mendes Award (recognizes individuals or non-governmental organizations
outside the United States who have exhibited extraordinary courage and leadership in the
struggle to protect the environment.): Mexican anti-logging activist Rodolfo
The EarthCare Award (honors an individual, organization or agency that has made a
unique contribution to international environmental protection and conservation.): The
Bellona Foundation of Norway.
The William Colby Award (for outstanding leadership, dedication and service to the
Sierra Club): Marjorie Sill of Reno, Nev.
The Walter A. Starr Award (for continuing support of the Club by a former
director): Shirley Taylor of Los Gatos, Calif.
The Oliver Kehrlein Award (for outstanding service to the clubs Outings
program): Carol Vellutini of Santa Rosa, Calif.
Susan E. Miller Award (for outstanding service to Sierra Club chapters): Robin and
Lori Ives of Claremont, Calif.
One Club Award (recognizes people who use outings as a way to instill an interest
in conservation and protecting public lands): Camille Armstrong of San Diego, Calif.
Denny and Ida Wilcher Award (for excellence in fundraising and/or membership
development): the Central Florida Group, the Santa Fe Group and the Poudre Canyon Group
Special Achievement Award (recognizes a single act of importance dedicated to
conservation):Harold Wood of Visalia, Calif., and the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra
Special Service Awards (for strong and consistent commitment to conservation over
an extended period of time): George Barnes of Palo Alto, Calif., Peter Belmont of St.
Petersburg, Fla.; Jan Swenson, Gerhard Raedeke and Diane Warner of Bismark, N.D.; the
Santa Monica Mountains Task Force (Angeles Chapter) and Dennis Schvejda of North Haledon,
Electronic Communication Award (for best Sierra Club Web page): Charlotte Gardner
(Georgia Chapter and Savannah River Group).
Newsletter Award: The Chesapeake (Maryland Chapter) and The Delaware
Sierran (Delaware Chapter).