Chevron Conservation Award article in the Petoskey News-Review honoring Dr. John H. Tanton

Petoskey physician wins Chevron Conservation Award

By KRIS SWANGUARIN, News-Review staff writer

April 2, 1990

"He is personally responsible for organizing a broad array of local groups which have made Petoskey, Mich., a place where the entire community is mobilized for conservation."
-Gov. Richard Lamm in a nominating letter.

A Petoskey physician has been recognized for his conservation efforts by Chevron U.S.A., an international oil company.

Dr. John Tanton is one of 20 individuals and five organizations recognized by the Chevron Conservation Awards program for work in the field of conservation.

"It is gratifying to have the recognition and I hope this will encourage more people to get their shoulders to the grindstone," Tanton said.

Award winners will be honored with a bronze plaque and a gift of $1,000 at the Chevron Conservation Awards banquet Wednesday,

May 16, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Tanton was nominated for the award by Richard Lamm, former governor of Colorado.

In a letter to the Chevrorn Conservation Committee, Lamm applauded Tanton's work to preserve thousands of acres of I sensitive and valuable natural areas of Michigan.

Lamm also noted Tanton's role as mentor to a generation of conservation professionals, and said Tanton inspired hundreds of conservation volunteers.

"He is personally responsible for organizing a broad array of local groups which have made Petoskey, Mich., a place where the entire community is mobilized for conservation," Lamm wrote.

The program encourages and rewards individuals and organizations who devote themselves, often without pay or recognition, to the conservation of natural resources and enhancement of the environment, according to a company press release.

Winners are those who demonstrate an ability to work with diverse interests to achieve realistic solutions to environmental dilemmas.

According to Chevron U.S.A. President Willis J. Price, the award is consistent with Chevron's corporate goals of balancing a better environment with economic vitality.

Chevron has sponsored the Conservation Awards Program since 1986.

Tanton began or had a hand in forming several conservation-minded groups, including the Bear River Development commission, the regional chapter of the Audubon Society, the local chapter of the Sierra Club, the Little Traverse Group, the Little Traverse Conservancy, Raptors Research, Recycle North, ProWild, and the Growth and Development Forum.

The Bear River Development Commission was formed by a resolution of the Petoskey City Council in June 1966.

Tanton was named the first chairman of the group and oversaw many clean-up and development projects along the river, including the removal of the old Penstock Dam in October 1968, south of the Mitchell Street Bridge. Removal of the dam, along with other clean-up and development projects, returned the river to a more natural state.

Tanton also founded other groups such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and U.S. English, which lobbies for recognition of English as the national language. He was the center of a national controversy in 1988 over a discussion paper he authored on future population and immigration issues, which raised questions about the high birth rate - and religious loyalties of Hispanic immigrants. During the flap Tanton resigned as chairman of U.S. English.

Of the 20 individuals honored by Chevron, 10 are citizen volunteers and 10 are professionals in the conservation field. Tanton will be honored as a citizen volunteer.

The conservation award program is in its 36th year, and was founded in 1954 by outdoor writer and lifelong conservationist Ed Zern.

The 1990 honorees come from the public, private and nonprofit sectors and represent a cross section of people from several states. They span all ages, all income levels and many professions. Some live in remote wilderness areas, others in major cities.

Copyright 2006-2022 Dr. John H. Tanton estate