Best Whistle-Blower - 2001
A year ago, historic Oyster Creek was on the verge of extinction. Today, it's got a chance, thanks to Lisa Rogers. On behalf of Brazoria County ranchers, including her husband, Rogers forced an investigation into the illegal diversion of the Oyster, which had watered her family's cattle for 175 years. The state put the blame on the Sienna Plantation Levee Improvement District, which employed the considerable legal and political power of Vinson & Elkins to stonewall the accusations. When state regulators backed down, Rogers upped the volume and threatened to drag the administration of former Texas governor George W. Bush into court. The levee district quickly put together an engineering plan to restore the downstream flow of Oyster Creek. While that work has yet to begin, it would be hard to bet against someone like Rogers. Not long ago, over lunch at the Sienna Plantation Country Club, a V&E lawyer asked Rogers to drop her threat of future legal action. She refused, of course, but not before she expressed some admiration for her host's youth and good looks.