Land Conservation Leadership Awards


Sep 15 - Nov 05, 2016  •  Wisconsin  • 


These annual awards recognize the outstanding accomplishments of individuals, policy makers, and land trusts who are working to protect the places that make Wisconsin special. They honor the power of committed citizens and offer inspiring examples of conservation success.

We received many high quality nominations for this year's Land Conservation Leadership Awards and are very pleased to be honoring them at local events around the state throughout the fall.  

2016 Land Conservation Leadership Award Winners

  • Land Trust of the YearNortheast Wisconsin Land Trust has helped protect natural areas and water resources for the past 20 years.  Guided by the mission to “preserve lands that protect our waters, landscapes, and natural habitats for this and future generations,” the Land Trust has helped conserve thousands of acres.  By blending education, collaboration and outreach efforts with landowners, government agencies and conservation organizations, the Land Trust is ensuring that special places in Northeast Wisconsin will remain that way. NEWLT was presented with their award at their 20th anniversary event on October 6, in Menasha. 
  • Conservationist of the YearRon Endres is a private landowner and champion of native area restoration in Dane County. In addition to being a model steward to his and many of his neighbors’ lands, Ron is also an incredibly active volunteer with numerous area organizations. But what truly makes him special is far more unique. From July through December, Ron works almost every day collecting, drying and processing native forb and grass seeds to provide them free-of-charge, to local non-profits and private landowners. Ron was presented with his award at a Friends of Wisdom Prairie Dinner Lecture on November 2. 
  • Harold “Bud” Jordahl Lifetime Achievement AwardBill Lunney has dedicated more than 45 years to advancing state and local conservation efforts through his leadership serving numerous conservation-based organizations either as a board member (including ours!), as a founder, or as board Chair. He has been integral to preserving thousands of acres of land, building strong citizen-based environmental organizations, growing consensus among many stakeholders—particularly public officials—for land preservation, and for promoting a land ethic based on the idea that any land preserved is a gift to future generations. Bill was presented with his award at a Garden Party, hosted by Natural Heritage Land Trust on September 15, in Middleton. 
  • Policymaker of the YearKevin Shafer is a champion of the Milwaukee River watershed. As Executive Director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District, Kevin has fostered a cooperative relationship between the district and a wide range of public and private conservation partners. His leadership has resulted in the implementation of cost effective, creative solutions for reducing water runoff and wastewater discharge with resounding success—drastically improving the water quality of the Milwaukee River watershed. Kevin received his award on October 20th at the Sweet Water Annual Meeting in Milwaukee. 
  • Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working LandsPartners in Forestry Cooperative (PIF) is a land owners’ cooperative that has been instrumental in the direct protection of thousands of acres of forestland in and around Vilas County. The organization has long been educating and informing legislators and landowners about the legal tools and benefits of sustainable forestry and conservation through tours, workshops, newsletters and direct networking since 2001. The organization received its award on November 5th during its annual meeting in Conover. 
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