Tom Adams to receive "Byron Sher" award for environmental leadership

Jun 25, 2012
By Jenesse Miller

Tom Adams is hands-down one of California’s most effective environmental leaders.

It's hard to imagine a more deserving recipient of the Byron Sher Lifetime Achievement Award, named for the legendary environmental champion and former state Senator who crafted some of California's -- and the nation's -- key environmental laws.

CLCV will present the award to Tom this week at our annual Environmental Leadership Awards gala.

As a member of the Board of the California League of Conservation Voters since 1995 including a decade as Board president, Tom has been a champion for and defender of California’s landmark public health and environmental laws. He's also deployed his considerable political and policy expertise to build bridges between environmental groups and organized labor, among others, and to elect people who make California a global environmental leader.

Adams has led countless campaigns for the public interest, including fighting alongside Senator Sher himself to successfully defend California’s air quality standards from an attack by the Bush Administration in 2003. He was one of the principal authors of the habitat conservation plan for San Bruno Mountain, the nation’s first such conservation plan.

A veteran of several statewide initiative battles, Adams co-chaired successful campaigns in 2006 and 2008 to defeat Propositions 90 and 98, proposals that would have greatly restricted the land use authority of government. In 2010 Tom helped create and lead the steering committee that defeated the oil industry-funded Proposition 23, the “dirty energy initiative” that would have repealed California's clean energy and climate law AB 32.

Tom represented CLCV as a principal co-sponsor (along with the Natural Resources Defense Council) of SB 375, a national landmark bill that links climate, transportation and land use policy. His expertise on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has served environmental and legislative leaders for decades.

Adams retired in 1999 from Adams, Broadwell, Joseph and Cardozo, a law firm specializing in environmental law that he founded with his wife, Ann Broadwell. But Tom's devotion to conservation and the natural world makes him one of the busiest "retired" folks anyone in the environmental community has ever met.

That devotion extends beyond his substantial political and policy work. Tom and his wife Ann have hiked to the summit of Mount Whitney and completed the rim to rim at the Grand Canyon. In the Himalaya they have trekked both to Everest Base Camp and to the Annapurna Sanctuary.

We're thrilled to honor Tom Adams with the Byron Sher Lifetime Achievement Award at our annual Environmental Leadership Awards event this Thursday.



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