In introducing the Millers at the Oct. 8 meeting, Sheep Mountain Alliance Director Joan May noted, "Yesterday, the Nobel Prize for Peace went, for the first time, to an African woman, and for the first time to an environmentalist, Wangari Maathai. The prize committee recognized that peace depends on our ability to sustain our living environment. We have some people right here in our own community who have always recognized this connection between environmental stewardship, community involvement and peace. Linda and Philip Miller live their lives committed to these principles, plus commitment to their family and a daily practice of enjoying life and the natural world."
The Millers have been members of the Western Colorado Congress and Sheep Mountain Alliance since the 1980s, serving on WCC's Public Lands Committee almost since its inception. A former US Forest Service employee, Philip has spent countless hours field-checking proposals and activities scheduled on public lands. He influenced the nature of Idarado Mining Company's development proposal in 2001, and currently is monitoring the Burn Canyon fire restoration project near Norwood. In addition, Philip noted, "I am proud that I have retrieved some 20 acres of the Telluride Valley Floor from decades of illegal cattle trespass by the San Miguel Valley Corporation on Forest Service land. The restoration of that portion of the Valley Floor will now begin."
In addition to serving on Western Colorado Congress' and Sheep Mountain Alliance's boards, Linda has volunteered with local efforts such as Telluride's Environmental Commission, the Telluride Open Space Commission and Streetscapes. "When you are fortunate enough to live in a place surrounded by all this natural beauty as we do, how can you not feel the responsibility of stewardship? I believe it is my responsibility to future generations of all species," Linda said in explaining her passion.
"Linda is respected by those who agree with her and disagree with her alike. She treats everyone with respect. She argues her points with passion, but argues only the facts and never attacks anyone personally. We should all strive to meet this protocol and ethic," May observed in nominating the Millers.
Western Colorado Congress annually honors one or more of its members for outstanding and enduring volunteer efforts with the Chuck Worley Award. The Award is named after one of the organization's founding members who, at 86 years of age, is still a voice for social and environmental justice on the Western Slope.
John Moore of Crawford also received the award this year for his continuing efforts to influence the future of coalbed methane drilling in Delta County, and to promote the use of renewable energy sources.
Western Colorado Congress is a grassroots alliance that organizes people to protect their communities and environment. The organization is comprised of nine local groups and over 2,000 members from Steamboat Springs to Telluride.