Colorado College names husband-wife journalist team as 2009 'Champions of the Rockies' - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release

Media contacts:
Jane Turnis
(719) 389-6138

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


Ed and Betsy Marston to receive award at 2009 State of the Rockies Conference

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Dec. 19, 2008 – Colorado College has named Ed and Betsy Marston, the former publisher and editor, respectively, of the High Country News in Paonia, Colo., as the 2008-09 Champions of the Rockies.

The award is part of Colorado College’s State of the Rockies Project, now in its sixth year. The Marstons will receive the award April 6, during the 2009 State of the Rockies Conference, to be held April 5-7 on the Colorado College campus. The award, initiated in 2006-07, is presented to outstanding leaders of vision, drive and determination who are helping to shape the future of the Rocky Mountain West. Ted Turner was the first recipient of the award.

The Marstons are being honored as journalists who have lived in the West for many years, researching and reporting on the important trends and challenges of the region. The Marstons recognize the Rockies’ special place in the history and heritage of the country, as well as the challenges involved in preserving the West’s unique character. 

In announcing the selection of the Marstons, Colorado College President Richard F. Celeste cited their “contributions over several decades to informed, thoughtful and comprehensive journalism through the strengthening and operation of High Country News.”

High Country News has become one of America's most respected environmental publications, dubbed by some "the conscience of the West," and the newspaper’s clout on environmental issues is impressive. Its correspondents give the paper a reach that goes well beyond its core coverage area of Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. The paper has 8,000 subscribers, and they include most of the congressional delegations of the Western states. In 1987 the newspaper’s prestige was bolstered by a George Polk journalism award for its investigative series on water-use policies in 10 Western states.

The 2009 State of the Rockies Conference will focus on “Visions of the Rockies in 50 Years: Will Our Children Thank Us?” The Rocky Mountain West is undergoing rapid and profound changes, including increased growth, new energy sources and jobs, the loss of habitats and open spaces, shortages of water and shifting priorities and centers of influence.
Over three days in April, speakers representing diverse interests in the Rockies will share their vision for this unique and delicate region, and will discuss what their organizations are doing to shape the future.

The 2009 State of the Rockies Conference schedule:

Sunday, April 5: A Future Rockies for Recreation: Events, displays and talks focused around recreation and wildness of the Rockies. Speakers include: Andrew Skurka, National Geographic's 2007 Adventurer of the Year, and Sally Jewell, the CEO of REI, Inc.

Monday, April 6: A Future Rockies through Compromise and Consensus: Events, displays and talks focused around wildlife and conservation in the Rockies, with the model of a "radical center" NGO approach. Speakers include George Cooper, CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and Dr. Mark Shaffer, director of the environmental program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Award presentation to the 2009 Champions of the Rockies, Ed and Betsy Marston of the High Country News.

Tuesday, April 7: A Future Rockies Filled with People: Events and speakers highlighting the future of the megapolitan Rockies. Speakers include Robert Lang, co-director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, and Amy Liu, deputy director of the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institute.  There will be displays of green urban initiatives and sustainable campus initiatives upon request, and awards and displays of the 2nd Annual Student Photo Contest.

For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,975 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit <>.