Arizonans Recognized for Protecting Precious Resource

Three people all contributed substantially to the future of Arizona's rivers

Phoenix, AZ | November 13, 2012

The Nature Conservancy in Arizona honored three people for their contribution to the conservation of Arizona’s important lands and waters. This year’s recipients all contributed substantially to the future of Arizona’s rivers. “Securing water for our future, in Arizona and globally, is the most important natural resource issue of our time,” said Patrick Graham, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Arizona. “These individuals distinguished themselves because of their contributions and commitments to the health of our environment and the quality of our lives.” 

Chip Norton received the Outstanding Conservation Achievement Award which recognizes support in the private sector. Chip helped transform the Friends of the Verde River Greenway from a small group of friends to a significant restoration organization. The work is now leading the effort to remove non-native plants from the Verde Valley and restore trees and plants along the river banks, and improve river flows. The Camp Verde resident is always ready to volunteer and has helped maintain ecologically important properties owned by the Conservancy along the Verde River. He leads by example and shares his commitment to nature by educating and mentoring.  

Sandy Fabritz-Whitney and Warren Tenney received the Morris K Udall Conservation Award which recognizes outstanding conservation achievements in the public sector. Sandy co-chaired the state Water Resources Development Commission and Warren co-chaired the work group that focused on water needs for the environment. The result was the first state-wide water assessment. The commission determined: 1) how much water we have in Arizona, 2) how much we use and who uses it, 3) how much we will need in 100 years, and 4) how to fill the gap. It also included the first comprehensive reporting on the water needs for rivers, wetlands and other important features of Arizona’s environment. 

Morris K Udall served as Arizona’s Congressman from District 2 from 1961-1991. He was passionate about the environment and moved many bills through legislation. 

The Nature Conservancy in Arizona uses science to collaborate with diverse partners to develop long-lasting solutions. To learn about our work across the state, visit

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Tracey Stone
The Nature Conservancy in Arizona


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