Every year in September, Western Resource Advocates hosts an annual event to get together with supporters, partners and friends to celebrate our progress over the past year to protect the West’s land, air and water, and to look ahead to the work that is yet to be done. Our fall event is also an opportunity to recognize notable achievements by individuals and groups, thank them for their leadership, and demonstrate our support for their continued good work. Every year, we look forward to presenting the Kelley Green Conservation Leadership Award to an organization or individual who has made a difference in advancing conservation in the West.

The Kelley Green Conservation Leadership Award is presented annually in memory of our founder, Kelley Green. During her lifetime, Kelley was a fiercely determined and tireless advocate for the environment, and for those who work on behalf of our planet. This year, we are excited to be presenting this award to two co-winners – Governor John Hickenlooper (D) of Colorado, and Governor Brian Sandoval (R) of Nevada – both of whom will accept the award in person at our event on Thursday, September 8th at the History Colorado Center in Denver.

Both Governor Hickenlooper and Governor Sandoval have demonstrated leadership on two key conservation issues in the West – clean power and water management – and have done so in a bipartisan manner. Each state will now have a head start in the transition to a clean energy economy, creating new jobs, and reducing carbon pollution. We applaud the foresight and leadership shown by Governor Hickenlooper and Governor Sandoval on this issue, and hope other western governors will follow suit.

Governor Hickenlooper and Governor Sandoval have both also shown foresight and leadership when it comes to water, our most precious resource in the West. Thanks to Governor Hickenlooper, as well the hard work of our Healthy Rivers program, our partners in the conservation community, and other stakeholders, Colorado has its first-ever statewide Water Plan and conservation goals to guide how we can best manage this scarce resource for communities and the environment. And in Nevada, to address years of serious drought, Governor Sandoval convened the Nevada Drought Forum so that stakeholders across the state could come together to develop long-term strategies for smart water management. Again, we encourage other states to replicate these collaborative efforts, because when it comes to water, we’re all in this together.

I hope you’ll join me at our event on Thursday, September 8th at the History Colorado Center in Denver, to applaud these two leaders and to demonstrate our support for their ongoing efforts on clean energy and smart water management in the West. When leaders have both an enlightened long-term view of the challenges ahead, and the support of their communities to pursue bold solutions, together we can bring about the transition to a clean energy economy and a smart water future, to protect the West’s land, air and water for future generations.

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