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Conservation Achievement Recognitions

Up to three times each meeting season (September through May), Flathead Audubon recognizes an individual, group, or organization that has made significant contributions to conservation in the Flathead Valley. This Conservation Achievement Recognition program was initiated in 2001. Listed below are the recipients of this Recognition.

2017-2018

September  Steve Thompson for his outstanding commitment to conservation of wild lands, his incredible ability to bring together people from diverse backgrounds, his passion and dedication to resource conservation, and his recent quest to tackle education and solutions for climate change. View Article/Photos

October       Janet Ellis for her lifelong dedication to wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation, her efforts to improve government regulations and policies with respect to development and associated impacts to wildlife, her use of science to inform and influence governmental action and public understanding, and her genuine willingness to work with all of Montana’s Audubon members and Chapters. View Article/Photos

2016-2017

March          Steve Gniadek for his outstanding and lifelong commitment to the wildlife sciences, his application of science to the conservation and management of wildlife and wildlife habitat, his support and participation in conservation education for all people, his depth of knowledge about birds and other wildlife, his attention to detail and accuracy, and his willingness to support and volunteer for many conservation causes and organizations. View Article/Photos

2015-2016     

October        Jim Watson and Carol Bibler for exemplary leadership in community and conservation; significant contributions to the development and creation of the outstanding Foys to Blacktail Community Forest and Trail system on 320 acres of highly-appreciated new lands added to Herron Park; helping to create our first meaningful countywide trails plan; supporting open space, agriculture, and sustainable forestry through Montana Land Reliance and local land trusts; service to Montana’s Forest Stewardship Program and American Tree Farm system; your support of outdoor and hunter education, youth mentoring, and youth hunting; and for their incredible sense of community and amazing generosity.  View Article/Photos

February       Jewel Basin Hawk Watch Observers BJ Worth, Diane Lundgren, Barbara Summer, Lisa Bate, Barbara Boorman for consistent and outstanding commitment to the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch since its inception in 2008 and the hundreds of hours each has contributed annually in preparing, commuting, observing, recording, and reporting of  the Jewel Basin fall Hawk Watch raptor data over the last 8 years. In recognition of their collective outstanding raptor identification skills, cheerful and delightful attitude, perseverance regardless of weather, attention to detail, and patience and ability to work with all other volunteers.  View Article/Photos

May               Susannah and Dan Casey for their outstanding and lifelong commitments to the conservation of birds and important bird habitats throughout Montana and the west, for recognizing the need for and supporting the protection of Flathead Lake’s north shore and Flathead River, for their consistent and accurate collection and maintenance of long-term bird observation records at the local and state levels, their long-term support of and innumerable contributions to Flathead Audubon, the establishment of the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch, and their continued collaborations across Montana and the west to support both avian science and conservation work. View Article/Photos

2014-2015 

October        John Frederick for decades of personal work and leadership in successfully maintaining the natural and cultural significance of the North Fork corridor of the Flathead River system.  View Article/Photo in Post

February      Val Parsons for bringing foresight, tenacity and passion to the development of a trail system throughout the Flathead Valley, providing youth and adults the opportunity for healthy and safe non-motorized recreation. View Article/Photo in Post

April             Mayre Flowers for a lifetime of dedication to the community common good, in advocating for sensible growth and development, recycling and waste reduction, citizen involvement, and on-the-ground changes to improve and protect our local economy and unique lifestyle; for educating, advising and sometimes nudging our elected officials to adhere to established law, for courage and steadfastness in the face of controversy and for her profound belief in the goodness of people; for leading us all into a proud future for our Flathead Valley.  View Article/Photo in Post

2013-2014 

September   Lynn Kelly in recognition of her pivotal research on the Common Loon; her almost 30 years of dedication to monitoring and protecting Montana’s loons; the many hours and miles she has devoted to educating the public about loons; and her creative and diligent approach to developing a network of volunteers and professionals to carry this work forward.  View Article/Photo in Post

January        Josh Gubits for training, coordinating and working with volunteers to monitor water quality, identify and report aquatic invasive species and promote watershed stewardship in Northwest Montana.  View Article/Photo in Post

May               Jan Bonham Metzmaker for an impressive legacy of dedicated community service and inspiring conservation work spanning over four decades in the Flathead Valley.  View Article/Photo in Post

2012-2013 

September   Bill McClaren for accomplishments in conservation gardening, including constructing an outstanding example of native plant, no-till, back-yard wildlife gardening, educating numerous Flathead Valley gardeners in organic gardening, and ongoing nurturing of the 7-acre Community Arboretum at FVCC.  View Article in Post

March           George Darrow for years of dedication helping to preserve Montana’s landscapes and wildlife, clean water and air, with special thanks for being chief sponsor of the Montana Water Policy Act of 1967, and principal author of the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) in 1971. View Article/Photo in Post

May               Jean Robocker in recognition of a lifetime of conservation and conservation education achievements including: helped found the Flathead Audubon Society; was one of the first FAS conservation educators, spending many hours in local classrooms teaching about birds and their importance to our lives; put under Conservation Easement over 250 acres of prime river bottom lands, with Eugene; promoted conservation and conservation education as a member of the FVCC Board of Directors, the State Board of Education, and the Flathead County Planning Board.  View Article in Post

2011-2012     

September    Brian Marotz in recognition of his skills, determination, and effectiveness in preserving fresh water fishery habitat and conserving native trout populations and their genetic diversity.  View Article in Post

March           Chris Ruffatto for 17 years of organizing and mentoring student monitoring of Haskill Creek, involving almost 500 Whitefish High School students in the project; for fostering outdoor research skills and a conservation ethic in these students; and for providing important data for local watershed resource planning. View Article in Post

May              Teresa Wenum for 16 years of shaping conservation education in the Flathead Valley, and for an outstanding record of forging and sustaining collaborative partnerships to provide continued support for many local nature-centered projects. View Article in Post

2010-2011 

December     Guest Services Department of the Kalispell Target Store for providing convenient and cost free glass recycling for the Flathead Valley. View Article in Post

February      Bigfork High School Cave Club for cleaning and monitoring caves in Glacier Park and local national forests, and using GIS mapping and other techniques to create original baseline data for use by the management agencies responsible for protecting these caves. View Article in Post and Photos (see pictures on last page)

2009-2010 

March           Milt and B.J. Carlson for their many accomplishments in the support and advocacy of conservation and proper land use planning in the Flathead Valley, and for being premier examples of good and generous citizens of our community. View Article/Photo in Post

April             Leonard Howke for many years of volunteer service helping to study, manage and introduce young people to Montana’s fish and wildlife resources. View Article/Photo in Post

2008-2009 

January        Foys to Blacktail Trails for significant progress towards its goal of preserving public access to forested lands connecting the Foys Lake area to Blacktail Mountain. View Article in Post

March           Flathead Valley Community College Green Team for responsible environmental activities, including: Recycling, use of non-toxic products and resource-efficient equipment, developing Earth Day programs and Green Symposium, and funding scholarships from recycling proceeds. View Article in Post

May              Windflower Native Plant Nursery, Forestoration, and Sleepingtree Native Plants for growing and marketing exclusively native plants, which provide crucial food, shelter and survival for native animal species, and to Maria Mantas and Laurie Hammill for sowing the seeds of native plant nurseries in the Flathead Valley. View Article in Post

2007-2008 

December     Jane Lopp & Associates for support provided to Flathead conservation projects and non-profits by sponsoring a series of Work Days benefiting the Owen Sowerwine Natural Area. View Article in Post

February      Dale Becker and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Wildlife Management Program for providing a successful, positive conservation example to others. Their numerous projects include: Wildlife mitigation features in the reconstruction of Highway 93, restoration of Trumpeter Swans, Peregrine Falcons, Northern Leopard Frogs and Bighorn Sheep, Kerr Dam habitat mitigation, Grizzly Bear conservation, and developing survey techniques. View Article in Post

May              Dr. Glenn and Hazel Johnston, Tom and Terry Siderius, and Chuck and Dan Siderius for protecting over 1,300 acres of productive agricultural and forest land, wetlands, wildlife habitat and long stretches of undeveloped shoreline along the Flathead River. View Article/Photos in Post

2006-2007 

December    Lex Blood for outstanding contributions to conservation education and his crucial support for and participation in many local projects engaged in the preservation of the Flathead’s landscape, environment and wildlife. View Article in Post

February      Habitat for Humanity Resale Store for keeping usable construction materials out of landfills, encouraging intelligent recycling and building a strong community atmosphere. View Article in Post

April             Waste Not Project, Mayre Flowers creator and director, a consumer education program that promotes ways to reduce the volume and toxicity of Flathead County’s waste stream. View Article in Post

2005-2006 

December    Flathead Land Trust and Montana Land Reliance for helping private landowners preserve and protect open spaces and wildlife habitat. View Article in Post – see page 8

March           Montana Coffee Traders for its efforts to support habitat preservation for wildlife, especially for birds. View Article in Post

April             Kalispell and Whitefish Parks and Recreation Departments for their tree planting programs, which preserve and enhance the natural environments of these cities for the benefit of city residents who live under the urban forest canopy, and wild birds that live within the forest canopy and understory trees. View Article in Post

2004-2005 

November    North Valley Recycling, Pacific Steel & Recycling, and Valley Recycling for contributions to the reduction of waste in the Flathead. View Article in Post – see page 5

February      Loren Kreck for helping to save and preserve some of the Flathead’s pristine places. View Article in Post

March           Wade Fredenberg (USFWS), Beth Gardner (USFS), and Clint Muhlfeld (MFWP) for Bulltrout and Westslope Cutthroat conservation efforts. View Article in Post

2003-2004     

October        FarmHands for publishing a free map of local food growers, thereby helping preserve open space and wildlife habitat. View Article in Post – see page 4

February      Corry Cullen for his efforts to bring recycling of glass to the Valley. View Article in Post

March           Jack Whitney for a lifetime of conservation effort and stewardship. View Article and Photo in Post – see pages 11-12

2002-2003 

January        Bigfork Development Company for leadership in support of the Swan River Corridor, and maintenance of the Swan River Nature Trail.  View Article

February      Rails-to-Trails for leadership in developing a system of trails dedicated to walking and non-motorized riding.  View Article

April             Flathead Wildlife, Inc. for numerous conservation activities including selling economical bluebird houses and using the proceeds to preserve local wildlife habitat.  View Article in Post – see page 7.

2001-2002 

December    Elna Darrow for her work as Chair of the Flathead Basin Commission.  View Article

February      Gael Bissell and Alan Wood through advocacy for their work on the Thompson/Fisher conservation easement.  View Article

April             The Organic Farmers of Flathead Valley for preserving our soil, protecting ground water, avoiding air pollution, and safeguarding environment.  View Article

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