An environmental majority in federal and state governments will be key to building on progress to address the climate crisis
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Last night, the Nevada Conservation League held its annual Home Means Nevada Awards Dinner celebrating environmental progress and honoring exceptional community leaders making outsized contributions to the conservation movement. With elections in place this November, speakers emphasized the importance of electing climate champions up and down the ballot who are dedicated to the health of our environment, communities, and democracy, and recognized its slate of endorsed candidates.
The annual dinner serves as the organization’s largest fundraising event to help advance its mission to enhance the natural character of Nevada and the quality of life for Nevadans through effective advocacy, the election of pro-conservation candidates, and building environmental collaboration.
Governor Sisolak provided the keynote address, touting Nevada’s leadership on policy and action that address the climate crisis and clean energy economy, and highlighting that the election of climate champions to office is necessary to continue this progress.
“I was honored to join the Nevada Conservation League’s Home Means Nevada dinner and congratulate this year’s impressive slate of award winners,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “From conserving water, reducing smog pollution, creating jobs and expanding our clean economy, NCL’s work has been vital to our success over the past three years – but now is not the time to be complacent. We must elect climate champions up and down the ballot this year to build on our progress, and I look forward to working with NCL to protect our natural resources, create clean jobs and work towards energy independence in my second term.”
“The reality we have to come to grips with is the climate crisis is only getting worse, from wildfires to hurricanes to toxic air pollution. These extreme weather events disproportionately impact is borne by the most vulnerable communities, who may have the resources or support to protect themselves from climate disasters,” said Nevada Conservation League Executive Director Paul Selberg. “This event recognizes this devastating reality of our climate and collectively commits us to acting to fight for a future that we can all live in so that no community, no person is expendable. That’s why it’s important than ever we elect strong environmental champions to office, especially in Nevada where communities know all too well the devastating consequences of the climate crisis.”
Dr. Mary House is awarded the Green Guardian Award
The organization’s award categories honor community groups and leaders who share a vision for a better climate future. The award winners are listed below. More about their contributions and the awards can be found here.
The Harry Reid Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to IBEW Local 357 member and NCL’s former board member, Robert Buntjer.
“I’ve loved this state since 1962 when I first came here. In doing so I was able to learn and love this community,” said Robert Buntjer. The land, the air that we breathe, the water that we drink and enjoy and recreate in. And most of all to learn the individuals that call this place home, from the early beginnings of Nevada, for those that this was the original home. For me it means so much to be able to receive this award from the work that’s being done in all aspects. Come election day, in one day we can change the future of this country. As the past chairman of NCL and as a fellow Nevadan, I encourage you to vote, support efforts and those individuals that were shown to you tonight that are putting Nevada first in land, air, and water.”
The Green Guardian Award was presented to co-founder of CHR, Inc. and “First Lady” of Mountaintop Faith ministries, Dr. Mary L. House.
“I want to thank the Nevada Conservation League for this award. I accept it on behalf of the communities in which I grew up in that had no voice about the environment in which we lived,” said Dr. Mary L. House. “It was in this community where I began to learn about using nature to survive. I advocate for low-income communities of color who have been survivors of the issue we call, “environmental justice” with little to no support. So, this award really belongs to them because I have been blessed and given a chance to speak for them knowing, hoping, and believing there’s a change coming to make my community a safer, cleaner, and healthier place to live.”
The Green Business of the Year was presented to one of America’s most respected outdoor businesses, Patagonia and accepted by the company’s Reno-based Environmental Activism Manager, Meghan Wolf.
“Our business benefits from healthy, accessible public lands like those across Nevada. We use resources to make our clothing, and we recognize the need to use these resources in a balanced and healthy way,” said Patagonia’s Meghan Wolf. “We constantly examine and improve our supply chain. And we currently use 1% of sales to support groups, like NV Conservation League, who work every day to protect and promote a balanced, healthy use of our environment – our land, air, water and the communities that rely on a healthy environment to thrive.”
The Nevada Conservation League also highlighted legislative victories, sharing the investments of the Inflation Reduction Act, the single-largest investment in climate action in our nation’s history. The Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law by President Biden earlier this month, provides historic investments in climate, communities, jobs, and an equitable transition to clean energy. The new law will bring an estimated $2.7 billion of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Nevada by 2030. A 2020 report found that federal clean energy stimulus investments similar to those adopted in the Inflation Reduction Act would add more than 39,000 clean energy jobs in Nevada over five years and support the continued growth of the state’s solar industry. The law will also provide several programs to help Americans reduce their energy bills, including tax credits and rebates for electrifying their vehicles, upgrading to efficient electric appliances, and installing solar.
Photos from the event can be found here.