FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 1999
CSU, Chico Geographers Receive Rotary Environmental Award
CSU, Chico geographers Chuck Nelson and Donald Holtgrieve are co-recipients of the 1999 Chico Rotary Environmental Awareness Award.
The award recognizes a person or organization from the Chico area deserving of commendation for specific actions that protect the natural environment. Nelson and Holtgrieve gave presentations about their environmental work at a December 14 Rotary meeting.
Chuck Nelson is an adjunct professor of Geography and Planning and director of the Geographic Information Center (GIC). He is a member of the Butte County Planning Commission and a former Chico City Council member and mayor. In 1989, he developed the Geographic Information Center.
GIC has become a valuable resource to the region. It provides detailed and descriptive maps and related data utilizing the latest computer technology called Geographical Information Systems. Through combining databases and computerized map making, the center can provide information that a city, county, special district or state agency needs to know about a given place.
Professor Walt Schafer, chair of the Rotary Environmental Committee and interim dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at CSU, Chico, said, “Through this vital and unique service to the north state, Chuck Nelson provides the best possible information to policy-makers at the local and state levels. His center also trains people in public agencies to do this type of work themselves.”
Donald Holtgrieve, professor of geography and environmental planning for 11 years at CSU, Chico, is the director of the Watershed Projects. The projects for watershed analysis and planning include 40 grants and contracts funded by federal, state and local agencies.
The work of the Watershed Projects comes out of federal policy that directs attention to protecting entire habitats rather than specific species. It is work that includes cooperation on all levels, from local grassroots organizations to state and federal agencies.
Holtgrieve and his staff facilitate local involvement in the environmental planning process. By providing existing condition reports, analysis, and guidance to local governments and other local units such as watershed conservancy citizens boards, the Watershed Projects support informed local decision making.
Among his projects are the Cache Creek Management area, the Sacramento River Watershed Web site, and the San Joaquin Adopt-A-Watershed project. Recently, Holtgrieve was instrumental in the acquisition of a 93-acre parcel in Butte Creek Canyon as a long-term nature preserve. The University Research Foundation received $186,000 from several state agencies to acquire the land, part of the Butte Creek Canyon Watershed Plan.
Schafer said of Holtgrieve’s award, “This award recognizes the quiet, competent dedication with which Don Holtgrieve has provided information and guidance to citizens and agencies throughout the north state, enabling them to make wise decisions about the future of our extraordinary natural environment.”
This is the second annual award given by the Chico Rotary Environmental Awareness Committee. The first annual award was presented to Lundberg Family Farms.