Henry Diamond Receives 2015 ELI Environmental Achievement Award

Beveridge & Diamond is pleased to announce that the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) will present firm founder Henry Diamond with its 2015 Environmental Achievement Award. The Award recognizes Henry’s lifetime of contributions to the practice of environmental law and the conservation of lands and waters across the United States. ELI will present the Award to Henry at the ELI Annual Award Dinner on Tuesday, October 20 in Washington, DC.

“Henry’s more than 50 years of dedication to preserving our nation's environment are truly remarkable. We congratulate Henry and are very proud to see his life-long commitment to land and water conservation recognized with this honor from the Environmental Law Institute,” said Managing Principal Ben Wilson.

In its press release, ELI Acting President Scott Schang explained that ELI chose Diamond because he set the standard for other environmental law practitioners. "Henry Diamond stands as an environmental statesman with a reputation for finding common ground among competing interests and shaping our system of modern environmental and natural resources laws to a degree few others can claim," Schang said.

When New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller created the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on the first Earth Day in 1970, he appointed Henry to serve as commissioner, leading the nation's first integrated environmental agency. As commissioner, he led a 533-mile bicycle ride across New York State, successfully promoting a $1.2 billion environmental bond issue. As the state's hunting and fishing programs were brought under the DEC umbrella, the DEC also created programs to deal with mercury, solid waste, water, and air pollution as well as access to public lands and forests. The combination was the first of its kind in the nation and became the model for many other states.

Henry began his environmental and resource conservation career upon meeting Laurance S. Rockefeller and becoming a key advisor on parks, recreation, and outdoor issues. This association led to his service in 1962 as editor of the report of the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission for President John F. Kennedy. The seminal report led to the creation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Wilderness Act, and the national system of wild and scenic rivers.

He also served as Executive Director of the influential 1965 White House Conference on Natural Beauty, which Laurence Rockefeller chaired. And he served as a member and then chairman of the President's Citizens Advisory Committees on Recreation and Natural Beauty and Environmental Quality.

Throughout decades of private practice in the firm he helped found in 1974, Henry has remained a tireless advocate for land and water conservation. He has served on more than 30 boards and commissions, including Resources for the Future, the Environmental Law Institute, The Woodstock Foundation, The Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc., and Americans for Our Heritage and Recreation. He chaired the National Park Service 75th Anniversary Conference which produced the influential Vail Report and co-authored the 1996 survey Land Use In America. He recently co-chaired the bipartisan Outdoor Resources Review Group, sponsored by Senators Jeff Bingaman and Lamar Alexander. The Group's report, Great Outdoors America, served as a catalyst for the President's America's Great Outdoors initiative.

Henry has received numerous honors and awards, including the Pugsley Medal of the American Academy for Park & Recreation Administration (2008) and the U.S. Department of Interior's Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award (2011).

Click here for video footage from the event that includes Bob Stanton's remarks and Henry’s acceptance speech.