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PSU and the Miller Foundation win sustainability leadership award for partnership
Author: David Santen, Office of University Communications
Posted: September 16, 2009

(Portland, Ore.) - Portland-based nonprofit Sustainable Northwest has announced the 2009 winners of its annual Cecil D. Andrus Leadership Awards for Sustainability and Conservation, recognizing excellence in pursuit of sustainability from across the West. Among this year’s recipients: the partnership between Portland State University and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation

Named in honor of former U.S. Interior Secretary under President Carter, four-term Idaho governor, and a founder of Sustainable Northwest, the Cecil D. Andrus Leadership Awards for Sustainability and Conservation are bestowed annually to individuals, nonprofit organizations, or collaborative community-based efforts that demonstrate a commitment to conservation of the environment, outreach and service to community, adaptability and innovation, and leadership of others to pursue similar sustainable paths.

“Governor Andrus has always been a leader ahead of his time, and so are this year’s recipients of the Andrus Awards. They are ground-breakers in conservation and sustainability and their leadership deserves to be recognized and followed,” said Martin Goebel, president of Sustainable Northwest.

Sustainable Northwest chose the partnership between Portland State University (PSU) and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, in recognition of PSU’s institution-wide effort to integrate sustainability into its academic and operational programs and its partnerships with the wider community; and, the Miller Foundation’s vision to invest in PSU with a transformative gift that gives the university many opportunities to leverage the $25 million and extend the grant’s reach.

The Miller Foundation made its donation to Portland State University in September 2008—the largest gift in the University’s history. Over the next ten years, the challenge grant will generate $50 million in support of sustainability leadership, research and education. PSU’s Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices is driving innovation in many facets of sustainability, helping establish the University as a role model nationally and globally.

This year’s awardees will be honored at the Sustainable Northwest Gala on Thursday, September 24, 6-9 p.m. at the McMenamins Crystal Ballroom (1332 W. Burnside St., Portland, Ore.). The public is invited to attend. The event, in support of regional sustainability, market-based conservation, and urban-rural connections, includes a silent auction and raffle. More information and tickets are available at

Other winners of this year’s Andrus Awards include:
•    Lava Lake Land and Livestock, LLC, in recognition of its innovative grazing management and conservation programs across nearly one million acres in the Pioneer Mountains of Central Idaho, and the company’s commitment to working with tribes, government agencies, neighboring ranchers and land owners, scientists and conservation groups to help shape land management decisions. Lava Lake has demonstrated how a social enterprise can blend ecological and recreational values, environmentally sustainable livestock grazing, and production of local food to benefit both the land and people.  More information is available at
•    Melanie Parker, Executive Director, Northwest Connections, in recognition of her leadership to preserve and maintain a working wilderness in Montana’s Swan Valley. This one of the most significant recent conservation accomplishments in the Interior West and a landmark example of place-based collaborative conservation. Parker demonstrates that one person’s vision can bring together diverse interests to craft solutions that support the local community, wildlife and the environment.

About Sustainable Northwest
Headquartered in Portland, Oregon and celebrating its 15th anniversary, Sustainable Northwest is distinguished by its ability to bring multiple—often opposing—sides of an issue together to craft and promote solutions to land management challenges. Entrepreneurial and committed to collaboration, Sustainable Northwest works at the local, regional and national levels to ensure that natural, local economies and rural communities can thrive.  This year, the organization launched two new projects: the Forest Investment Zone Initiative, an effort to create jobs and restore forests in Eastern Oregon and Northern California; and Sustainable Northwest Wood, a social enterprise that connects builders in the Seattle and Portland markets with locally sourced, eco-friendly wood products.

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For Immediate Release (#09-037)

David Santen, Office of University Communications,
Portland State University | 503-725-8765
Jed Mitchell, Sustainable Northwest, | 503-221-6911 x101