And the Winners Are…

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Land Conservation Leadership Awards! We received a very competitive slate of nominations this year and the results are finally in.  Please join us in recognizing these inspiring leaders:

  • Land Trust of the Year – The Prairie Enthusiasts (with a special nod to Rich Henderson for his inspiring commitment and contributions to the organization) have ensured the perpetuation and recovery of nearly 4,000 acres of native prairie, oak savanna and other associated ecosystems of the Upper Midwest through protection, restoration, management and education. TPE employs a strong grassroots approach throughout multiple states, working openly & cooperatively with private landowners and other private and public conservation groups, to carry out its mission.
  • Policy Maker of the Year – Dick Steffes served WI’s Department of Natural Resources’ Real Estate program in various capacities for 39 years. His leadership and influence helped to preserve over 834,502 acres throughout Wisconsin, secure public recreational access, and ensure best management of the state’s forest resources. His achievements include some of the largest conservation purchases in Wisconsin’s history.
  • Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working Lands Preservation – Dan Lemke, Plum Creek’s Senior Land Asset Manager, has played a key role in the permanent protection of more than 60,000 acres of Wisconsin timberland.  As working forests, these acres continue to produce sustainable forest products for the state’s timber industry and provide permanent public access and land protection for critical bird habitat.
  • Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working Lands Preservation – Tom Lyon has been dedicated to farmland protection for over 25 years.  His many achievements include a successful partnership with the namesake of this award, Rod Nilsestuen, to establish the Working Lands Initiative and Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements (PACE) program, which have resulted in the protection of thousands of acres of working lands, helping to reduce the trend of rapid farmland losses throughout the state.
  • Conservationists of the Year – Dale Buser & Andrew Struck, were essential in the creation of the Ozaukee Fish Passage Program, which safe_imagereconnects existing, high quality fish and wildlife habitat throughout the Milwaukee River Watershed and drainage to Lake Michigan and supports public efforts to re-establish and encourage self-sustaining native populations of threatened, special-concern and game fish.
  • Harold “Bud” Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award – Howard & Nancy Mead have been an active and abiding presence in Wisconsin’s conservation community for more than 50 years.  In addition to educating the public about the richness of Wisconsin’s resources and heritage through their ‘Wisconsin Trails’ magazine, they have been instrumental in founding, as well as committed contributors to, key conservation organizations and efforts throughout the state.

Please join us as we honor these deserving conservation leaders at our 11th annual Land Conservation Leadership Awards Celebration from 5:30 to 8:30 on Thursday, September 26th at the Monona Terrace in Madison.