We wholeheartedly approve of the selection Gail Griffith as the recipient of the Fred Rydholm Sisu Award, recently given out for the first time by Save the Wild U.P.
The award is named for Fred Rydholm, who died in April 2009 at age 85. Rydholm was a well-known public school teacher, wilderness guide, three-term mayor of the city of Marquette, and author of "Superior Heartland: A Backwood History."
Griffith is a retired Northern Michigan University professor and very familiar to people in and out of the environmental community. She has been involved with SWUP since in was formed
"We've created this award to honor the late Fred Rydholm, who wholly embodied Save the Wild U.P.'s environmental values, not to mention the Finnish - and Yooper - term 'sisu' meaning perseverance, grit, and resilience," Alexandra Thebert, SWUP's executive director, said in a recent Mining Journal story authored by Staff Writer John Pepin.
In the same story, Daniel Rydholm - son of Fred Rydholm who presented Griffith the award - said, "Gail Griffith, like my father, embodies values of service, unity and stewardship. As a scientist and educator, she has been a clear-eyed and passionate defender of our environment for decades."
Make no mistake, Griffith is an ardent environmentalist who is deeply commited. That said, she has impressed us, and others, we think, with her willingness and ability to consider all sides of an issue.
That takes a measure of foresight and wisdom often not seen among advocates in polarizing issues.
Griffith was a good choice.