Sierra Club Announces 2002 National Awards

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 21, 2002 – A U.S. senator, a governor and a columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer are among this year's winners of the national Sierra Club awards. Senator James Jeffords (I-VT), Governor Parris Glendening (D-MD), journalist Joel Connelly and a host of grassroots Sierra Club volunteers were honored for their continuing work to protect America's environment for our families and for our future.

The club's top award, the John Muir Award, will go to U. S. Senator James Jeffords of Vermont. Senator Jeffords, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, drop-kicked the Republican Party when he switched to Independent status in 2001. As a young Vermont Attorney General, former U.S. Congressman, and as a U.S Senator, environmental protection has been one of Jeffords' top priorities. Senator Jeffords has fought for improved environmental protections to reduce industrial pollution and acid rain. As a member of the Senate's Environment Committee, he ensured the passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act. More recently, Jeffords introduced legislation that would clean up our nation's dirty coal and power plants and create incentives for investments in clean, renewable power.

"Leading on the environment has long been a Jim Jeffords tradition," said Sierra Club President Jennifer Ferenstein. "His decision to reject President Bush's anti-environmental policies and tip the balance of the Senate was a watershed event. Senator Jeffords acted courageously because he puts a priority on protecting families, not on partisan labels."

Maryland Governor Parris Glendening will receive the club's Edgar Wayburn Award. This award honors a government worker who provides service to the environment. Glendening has been a leader in the smart-growth movement, and under his guidance, Maryland now preserves more land than is developed each year.

"Environmentalists from coast to coast are grateful for Governor Glendening's leadership in protecting Maryland's environment and we are proud to give him this well-deserved honor," Ferenstein said, "governors, legislatures and communities across the country are following his lead."

This year Joel Connelly, of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, will receive the David Brower Award for environmental journalism. Connelly writes a column titled, "In the Northwest" that appears three days a week and regularly covers forest issues, endangered salmon, global warming and the environmental impact of the Bush Presidency.

The Joseph Barbosa Earth Fund Award, honoring persons under the age of 30 who have demonstrated a commitment to the environment, is being given to Amy McCormick. Amy, a 28-year-old from Austin, Texas, has been involved with the Sierra Club's Inner City Outings Program for more than eight years. The award includes a $2,000 prize from the Joseph Barbosa Earth Fund to be given to Amy's local Austin Sierra Club's Inner City Outings program.

The Environmental Alliance Award, which includes a $1,000 prize from the Joseph Barbosa Earth Fund, went to Maui resident Lucienne deNaie. DeNaie has put together coalitions in Hawaii around four campaigns:

  • To protect the reefs and sensitive habitat of endangered humpback whales and threatened green sea turtles from destruction by a harbor expansion supported by the Army Corps of Engineers;
  • To halt destructive expansion plans for Maui's airport;
  • To protect Maui coastlines from development, and;
  • To preserve Maui's watersheds and native stream life.

Others receiving Sierra Club awards for 2002 included the following:

The Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography: Jack Jeffreyof Hilo, Hawaii.

The William Colby Award (for outstanding leadership, dedication and service to the Sierra Club): Dr. Marvin W. Baker Jr. of Salem, Oregon.

The William O. Douglas Award (for contributions in the field of environmental law): Jack Tuholske of Missoula, Montana.

The EarthCare Award (honors an individual, organization or agency that has made a unique contribution to international environmental protection and conservation.): Elizabeth May of Canada.

The Oliver Kehrlein Award (for outstanding service to the club's Outings program): Jim Maas and Andy Johnson, both of Berkeley, California. Maas and Johnson edit the Inside Outings newsletter.

Susan E. Miller Award (for outstanding service to Sierra Club chapters): Richard Colby of Egg Harbor City, New Jersey.

One Club Award (recognizes people who use outings as a way to instill an interest in conservation and protecting public lands): Allison Chin of Stanford, California.

The Raymond Sherwin International Award (for international conservation): Sanford Tepfer of Eugene, Oregon.

Special Achievement Award (recognizes a single act of importance dedicated to conservation): Don Richardson of Memphis, Tennessee, for his publication of the Old Forest Trail Map, a guide to the urban forest in Overton Park.

Special Service Awards (for strong and consistent commitment to conservation over an extended period of time): Rita Beving of Dallas, Texas; Robin Mann of Brynn Mawr, Pennsylvania; and Mark Rorick of Juneau, Alaska.

The Walter A. Starr Award (for continuing support of the Club by a former director): Richard Fiddler of Shoreline, Washington. Fiddler served on the Sierra Club Board of Directors from 1978-1984 and from 1988-1991.

Ida and Denny Wilcher Award (for excellence in fundraising and/or membership development): the Napa Group for its Holiday Ornament Project.