The 2008 Conservationist of the Year award was Presented at by the Adirondack Council at the Silver Bay Association in Hague on Saturday. McKibben is the 24th annual winner of the honor, which includes the gift of a hand-carved loon.
Recent winners of the award have included The Wildlife Conservation Society (2007), Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (2006), Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky (2005), and the Open Space Institute (2004). Past winners include NY Governors Pataki and Cuomo, and NY Times editor John Oakes.
McKibben was raised in suburban Lexington, Massachusetts. After graduating from Harvard in 1982, Bill began writing for The New Yorker magazine. His first book, The End of Nature, published in 1989 (and available used for less than $8 from Amazon), won critical acclaim as being the first book on climate change geared towards the general public. Some of Mr. McKibben’s other works include The Age of Missing Information; Hope, Human and Wild; Maybe One: A Case for Smaller Families; The Comforting Whirlwind: God, Job, and the Scale of Creation; and Long Distance: A Year of Living Strenuously.
More recently, Bill wrote Wandering Home (you can get that one new for less than $3), which chronicles his hiking from Vermont into the Adirondacks with his Adirondack home in Johnsburg as his destination. Bill includes his encounters along the way and his interactions with some of today’s active participants in the environmental field, including Adirondack Council Conservation Director John Davis.
Last year, Bill published Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. This book seeks to change the way people view economic prosperity, so that the focus is not on growth and consumption, but instead on success for local businesses that produce food, energy and entertainment in our local areas. Brian over at MoFYC, wrote yesterday about McKibben’s talk about the new book here.
Also in 2007, Bill helped launch the “Step It Up” campaign to both raise public awareness about climate change and spur citizens to take action. Local groups around the country held hundreds of small rallies simultaneously, on both April 14 and November 3, to show their concern about the planet and to call for Congressional action on carbon emissions. This grassroots advocacy effort now goes by the name “1Sky.” Bill also wrote about this experience in a book entitled, Fight Global Warming Now.
His latest book, The Bill McKibben Reader is a collection of 44 essays written over the last quarter century. Mr. McKibben continues to contribute to several magazines, such as The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Orion, Rolling Stone and Grist. Bill currently resides in Ripton, Vt., and Johnsburg, NY, with his wife and daughter and is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College.
Sponsors of the Council’s annual awards gathering include: Finch Paper LLC, Lyme Timber Company, Barbara M. Collum, Dr. Robert H. Poe, Champlain National Bank, Eastwood Litho, Lake George Mirror, Rayonier, Pearsall Financial Group at UBS, Access Computer Technologies, Law Office of Marc Gerstman, Martindale Keysor & Co., CPAs, Adirondack Creamery, The North Face, Chris Snye-The Placid Baker, Lost Pond Press, and Loremans’ Engraving.