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Pacific Grove Photographer Wins National Sierra Club Award

SAN FRANCISCO - Sept. 15, 2001 - Ventana Chapter Vice-Chair Robin Way of Pacific Grove has received the Sierra Club's 2001 Ansel Adams Award. The award honors individuals who have made superlative use of still photography to further a conservation cause.

Way photographs threatened open spaces in the central coastal area of California and combines them into photomontages to demonstrate negative environmental effects of proposed developments. Recently his photography helped to defeat a proposed freeway threatening Hatton Canyon, a valuable wildlife corridor and open space buffer near Carmel.

He began his career in 1969 as administrative assistant to David Brower, when Brower served as executive director of the national Sierra Club. He was the sole photographer of the Sierra Club exhibit on San Francisco Bay that promoted state legislation to establish the San Francisco Bay conservation and Development Commisssion.

Way's recent montages have drawn attention to the threat of development of historic Marks Ranch near Salinas. He is a regular contributor of photographs to the Ventana, the newsletter of the Sierra Club's Ventana Chapter, and is currently documenting in photographs many local open space areas threatened by development: Pebble Beach wetlands, Salinas River riparian corridor, Arroyo Seco River sand and gravel dredging operations, and proposed logging operations in the Mill Creek watershed in Big Sur.

In 1999 the City of Pacific Grove Arts Commission nominated Way as Artist of the Year. One of Way's photographs was chosen to illustrate the 2001 Big Sur International Marathon poster.

Way is a now a carpenter by trade. Although he does commercial photography for his employer, his photographic skills on behalf of environmental causes are done as a volunteer. "Robin's photography has been invaluable in influencing public opinion and shaping land use decisions to protect the environment," says Clark Beck, Conservation Chair of the Sierra Club's Ventana Chapter.

The Sierra Club, which was founded in 1892 by John Muir, is the country's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. It currently has more than 700,000 members. Ansel Adams, who was made famous by his striking photographs of the Yosemite Valley, was a long-time member of the club and served on its board of directors for more than 25 years.

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