‘High County News’ Reporter Wins Environmental Journalism Prize

By: E&P Staff

Matt Jenkins of the High Country News has been awarded the 2006 James V. Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism, the Stanford Report of Stanford University announced today. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Rocky Mountain News of Denver, Colo. received special citations.

Matt Jenkins of the High Country News won the $3,000 prize for ?Squeezing Water from a Stone,? his piece on the Southern Nevada Water Authority and its efforts to stretch the water resources of Las Vegas to include the Colorado River. Judges lauded his story as a ?beautiful, well-written piece about one of the last frontiers of the West.?

Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporters Robert McClure and Lisa Stiffler were awarded a special citation for their series ?A License to Kill,? which exposed the collusion between the federal government and timber companies that eventually resulted in the deaths of endangered species.

Jim Erickson, Judy DeHass, and Michael Hall also received a special citation for their series ?A Change in the Air,? which was published by the Rocky Mountain News. The occasional series examined the impact of climate change on the chain of mountains known collectively as the Rockies.

The Risser Prize was created in 2005 to honor reportage on environmental issues that are uniquely Western. It is open to submissions from print, broadcast, and online journalists. The namesake of the prize, James Risser, was a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and a former Washington bureau chief of the Des Moines (Iowa) Register. Risser also chaired the John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists from 1985 until 2000.

The judges for the 2006 Risser Prize were Tom Brokaw, formerly of NBC Nightly News; Jerry Ceppos, the retired vice president/news of Knight Ridder; Jim Detjen, the Knight Chair in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University; Rosamond Naylor, a senior fellow at the Center for Environmental Science and Policy at Stanford; and Rick Rodriguez, the executive editor of the Sacramento (Calif.) Bee.

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