SEATTLE - East Oregonian Publishing Group, of which the Chinook Observer is a part, has won the 2007 Dolly Connelly Award for excellence in environmental journalism for a series of articles on how the changing climate is affecting the Pacific Northwest and its living creatures.

The series was called "Our Climate is Changing - Ready or Not." It was published in March, September and December 2006 in the Observer, the Daily Astorian and other newspapers in the small family-owned group. It featured the work of a team of some 20 writers, plus photographers, page designers and editors from all six papers. It was coordinated by Patrick Webb, Astorian managing editor and a Peninsula resident. Peninsula freelance writer Kate Gable was a major contributor to the series.

David Brewster, publisher of the Internet publication Crosscut, was new to the judging panel this year.

"Very impressive, especially for papers of this size," Brewster wrote of the newspaper group's coverage. "The use of complicated scientific findings is particularly good. It is comprehensive and well localized."

"This represents an amazing commitment of resources by a small independent newspaper company," wrote another judge, David McCumber, managing editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The series earlier won an award of special merit, the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment.

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