FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 23, 2011
Rebecca Silver, 212-791-3600, Rebecca.Silver@sierraclub.org
SIERRA CLUB ANNOUNCES 2011
Honorees include leading
environmentalist Bill McKibben, Congressman Edward Markey, Congressman Keith
Ellison, conservation photographer Ian Shive, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert and others
SAN FRANCISCO – Bill McKibben,
founder of 350.org and world-renowned environmental activist, will conclude his
global day of action by accepting the Sierra Club’s highest honor, the John Muir Award. A worldwide rally to demand solutions to the
climate crisis, Moving Planet on September 24th exemplifies McKibben’s
efforts to organize local efforts into a global movement.
McKibben inspired and mobilized a generation to fight climate change, translating
the complex issues of greenhouse gas emissions in to one simple number: 350. According to McKibben, “To preserve our planet,
scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its
current level of 392 parts per million (ppm) to below 350 ppm. But 350 is more than a number—it's a symbol of
where we need to head as a planet.”
In addition to his work as an international environmental leader,
McKibben has authored 13 books. His 1989 book, The End of Nature, is regarded as the first book for a general
audience about climate change, and has been printed in more than 20 languages. In 2010 the Boston Globe called him “probably the nation’s leading
environmentalist” and Time magazine
described him as “the world’s best green journalist.”
Sierra Club Board President Robin Mann said this of McKibben: "It's my great
pleasure to present Bill McKibben with the Sierra Club's highest honor--the
John Muir Award--on the evening of his Global Day of Action. Activists like
Bill McKibben exemplify the very essence of the Sierra Club's mission. People
working together can change the world. John Muir believed it. Bill McKibben and
the 1.4 million members and supporters of Sierra Club live it."
Ed Markey from Massachusetts
is receiving the club’s Edgar Wayburn
Award, which honors outstanding service to the environment by a person in
government. Since being elected to Congress in 1976, Rep. Markey has been at
the forefront of environmental campaigns, pressing for increased fuel
efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, defending the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge from proposed oil drilling, pushing for tougher clean air
standards, advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency proposals, and
authoring legislation to tackle global warming.
Keith Ellison from
Minneapolis is receiving the Distinguished
Service Award, which recognizes individuals in public service for strong
and consistent commitment to conservation. Rep. Ellison has been a strong
supporter of the environment and environmental justice since was in the
Minnesota state legislature. He has carried forward legislation to protect
children from lead poisoning and to ban the use of atrazine, the weed-killing
agricultural pesticide, due to its documented toxicity.
Roderick Bremby, the former secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, is
receiving the Distinguished Achievement
Award, which honors persons in public service for a particular action of
singular importance to conservation. In 2007, Bremby was the first public
official ever to deny a permit for a coal plant solely on the basis of its
greenhouse gas emissions.
Kolbert, a former New York Times reporter who now writes
for the New Yorker, is receiving the David R. Brower Award, which recognizes
outstanding environmental reporting. Kolbert’s 2006 book Field Notes from a Catastrophe, which was based on an award-winning
three-part series for the New Yorker,
is one of the most powerful commentaries to date on global climate shift.
The club’s Ansel Adams Award, which honors excellence in conservation
photography, is going to Ian Shive
of Los Angeles, Calif. Shive’s 2009 book, The
National Parks: Our American Landscape, highlights the rich diversity of
the American ecological landscape and Shive has used it in a “wilderness
diplomacy” project designed to promote cultural understanding worldwide by
sharing images of America’s national parks. Shive also has used his photos to
remind lawmakers of the importance of preserving our outdoor resources and to
address the environmental impact of the U.S.-Mexico border fence.
The club’s William Douglas Award, which recognizes individuals who have made
outstanding use of the legal/judicial process to achieve environmental goals,
is going to Sharon Duggan of
Oakland, Calif. Duggan has litigated on a broad variety of issues,
including state and federal forestry, water quality, endangered species and
environmental quality. She is perhaps best known for her work on a series of
cases involving the ancient redwood groves of the Headwaters Forest in Northern
California. In a landmark 1983 case known as EPIC vs. Johnson, Duggan
established that California state agencies must consider the cumulative effects
of logging in a watershed on water quality, soils and wildlife habitat when
reviewing logging plans. Since this victory, the Environmental Protection
Information Center in Humboldt County has successfully enforced this ruling in
nearly two dozen lawsuits to protect biodiversity, endangered species and the
The club’s highest
honor for administrative work, the William
E. Colby Award, is going to Edwina
Allen of Boise, Idaho. Allen has been involved with the Sierra Club for
more than 40 years. She helped establish the Club’s Idaho Chapter and helped
earn wilderness designation for Idaho’s Owyhee Canyonlands.
2011 Sierra Club awards include the following:
Award (honors the best use
of communications [either print or electronic] by a Sierra Club group, chapter
or other entity to further the Club’s mission): Ivy Main and the Virginia
Chapter. The chapter has made videos on a variety of subjects to help interest
people in its work.
EarthCare Award (honors an individual, organization, or
agency that has made a unique contribution to international environmental
protection and conservation): Maude
Barlow of Ottawa, Canada. Barlow is the head of the Council of
Canadians − Canada’s largest public advocacy organization − and founder of the
Blue Planet Project, which was started by the Council to protect the world’s
fresh water from the growing threats of trade and privatization. She is the
author or co-author of 16 books, including the best-selling 2007 book Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water,
which some have called “the most important book that’s ever been written on the
global water crisis.”
Environmental Alliance Award (recognizes individuals or groups that have
forged partnerships with other non-Sierra Club entities): Carol Adams-Davis of Mobile, Ala. Adams-Davis has partnered with
other environmental groups on a variety of environmental issues along the Gulf
of Mexico, including recovery from the BP oil spill.
P. Farquhar Mountaineering Award (recognizes contributions to mountaineering): Royal Robbins of Modesto, Calif. Robbins is a pioneer in American
rock climbing and an early proponent of boltless, pitonless clean
climbing. He is the author of two classic books on rock climbing.
Joseph Barbosa Earth Fund Award (recognizes a Sierra Club member under the
age of 30): Victoria Pan of
Ridgewood, N.J. Pan has created a web site at studentssavingenergy.org that shows students how they can launch
energy-saving initiatives at their schools. Pan’s Sierra Club chapter in New
Jersey will receive $500 in recognition of this award.
Madelyn Pyeatt Award (recognizes work with youth): Anne Carroll of Arlington, Mass.
Carroll has been chair of the Boston Inner City Outings program since 2004. The
Boston ICO group will receive $500 in recognition of this award.
Oliver Kehrlein Award (for outstanding service to the Sierra
Club’s outings program): Marjorie
Richman of North Bethesda, Md. Richman has been leading local and national
outings for the Club since 1980.
J. Sherwin International Award
(honors extraordinary volunteer service toward international conservation): Michael Gregory of McNeal, Ariz.
Gregory has spent more than 28 years working on national and international
toxics issues such as the regulation of Persistent Organic Pesticides (POPs).
Special Achievement Awards (for a single act of importance dedicated to
conservation or the Sierra Club): Clayton
Daughenbaugh of Berwyn, Ill.; Charles
Price of Richmond, Va.; and Lonnie
Morris of Lombard, Ill. Daughenbaugh is being honored for his work with the
Club’s Activist Network Support Team; Price is being recognized for his efforts
to establish the Cannon Creek Greenway through inner-city neighborhoods in
Richmond, Va.; and Morris is being honored for her work with the Cool Cities
program in Illinois.
Special Service Awards (for strong and consistent commitment to
conservation over an extended period of time): Rev. Robert F. Murphy of Cataumet, Mass.; Jane Clark of Des Moines, Iowa; and Ken Brame of Leicester, N.C. Murphy has been active with the Sierra
Club for more than 40 years, particularly on issues related to human rights and
environmental justice. Clark has served twice as Iowa Chapter Chair, many years
as Chapter Conservation Co-chair and for the past 10 years as Chair of the
Central Iowa Sierra Group. Brame has been involved with the Sierra Club’s
political program for 25 years.
Susan E. Miller Award (honors administrative contributions to
Sierra Club groups, chapters and regional entities): Steve Kulick of Syracuse, N.Y.; Marian Ryan of Winter Haven, Fla.; and the Club’s Chapter Treasurer Assistance Support Team. Kulick
has served as treasurer of the Club’s Atlantic Chapter since 1986 and Ryan has
served the Florida Chapter in a variety of administrative capacities. The
Chapter Treasurer Assistance Support Team has worked with chapter treasurers to
help them complete their annual financial reporting requirements in a timely
fashion and migrate to QuickBooks Online.
Walter Starr Award (Honors continuing service to the Sierra
Club by a former member of the Board of Directors): Glen Dawson of Pasadena, Calif. Dawson, who is 99, was selected for
his many years of work with the Angeles Chapter’s History Committee.
Most of the awards
will be presented Sept. 23-24 in San Francisco. For more information on the
Sierra Club awards program, visit www. sierraclub.org/awards.