It’s our pleasure to announce the 2012 Land Conservation Leadership Award winners. Thanks to the nominators and the Awards Selection Committee, the winners demonstrate the diversity of conservation success and effort across Wisconsin and inspire us all to continue protecting the places that make Wisconsin special. Congratulations to all the winners:
Land Trust of the Year – River Revitalization Foundation, Milwaukee’s urban rivers land trust since 1994, has increased public access to Milwaukee’s rivers and enhanced the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Its partnerships throughout the community provide opportunities for immersion into the natural world, educate about conservation in an urban setting, and illustrate the synergy between land conservation and urban development.
Policy Maker of the Year – John Koepke, a member of the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection board, as well as the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement Council, has championed efforts to promote and defend the Wisconsin Working Lands Initiative. His committed actions and voice as a farmer from Oconomowoc have proved invaluable to farmland protection in Wisconsin.
Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working Lands Preservation – Dale Katsma, Department of Natural Resources Area Wildlife Supervisor in Plymouth, has spent the last decade quietly and successfully pioneering working lands preservation. His patient and persistent efforts to build relationships and trust between the DNR, landowners, and other conservation groups have played a pivotal role in the protection of 1,887 acres of farmland and 684 acres of wildlife habitat & natural areas in southeastern Wisconsin.
Conservationist of the Year – Ellen Kwiatkowski, the Executive Director of Bayfield Regional Conservancy, a valuable asset to the state’s PACE Council, chair of Wisconsin’s Land Trust Council, and co-owner of an easement-protected farm, has been an essential player in the permanent protection of over 1000 acres of land throughout northern Wisconsin and in successfully leading BRC through the national land trust accreditation process.
Harold “Bud” Jordahl Land Trust Pioneer Award – The Ridges Sanctuary celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and was the first land trust in Wisconsin. Inspiring stewardship of natural areas through educational programs, outreach and research, The Ridges can undoubtedly be credited for positively impacting the history of land conservation throughout the state and laying groundwork for future conservation efforts throughout the Door Peninsula and beyond.
Please join us as we honor these deserving conservation leaders at our 10th annual Land Conservation Leadership Awards Celebration from 5:30 to 8:30 on Thursday, October 4th at the Monona Terrace in Madison.