Land Conservation Leadership Awards

Sep 21, 2017  •  Monona Terrace, Madison, WI  •  5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

These annual awards recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions of individuals, policy makers, land trusts, and other groups that help protect the places that make Wisconsin special. They honor the power of committed citizens and offer inspiring examples of conservation success.

This year's awards will be presented at our annual Land Conservation Leadership Awards Celebration on September 21, 2017, at the Monona Terrace in Madsion. The event will take place from 5:30-8:30pm and will include a silent auction featuring sports tickets, outdoor equipment, art and vacation getaways. Savory hors d'oeuvres and desserts will be served. We hope you'll make plans to join us to honor this year's outstanding conservation leaders!

If you qualify for complimentary tickets to the event, register here

Congratulations to our 2017 Award Winners:

  • Conservationist of the Year – Jim Welsh, Executive Director of the Natural Heritage Land Trust, has been instrumental in the protection of many of the most loved and valued places in south central Wisconsin. During Jim’s successful tenure over the past 15 years, NHLT has achieved national accreditation and now has conserved over 10,000 acres of farms, forests, prairies, and wetlands in and around Dane County.   
  • Harold “Bud” Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award – Dan Wisniewski of Middleton has spent decades influencing public policy to benefit land and water conservation in Wisconsin. Dan has served as a dedicated board member with the Northwoods Land Trust, supporting their efforts to protect over 11,000 acres, and through his volunteer efforts and leadership with Trout Unlimited, he has played a critical role in securing restoration funding and public access on some of best cold water streams in Wisconsin.
  • Land Legacy Award – Terry & DiAnne Hatch are Iron County landowners whose generous support of land conservation has been deeply impactful. Their contributions have created a legacy of protected land throughout the state and have bolstered advocacy efforts to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in public conservation funding through Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. Terry served for several years on the Gathering Waters Board of Directors, and he and DiAnne have long supported conservation organizations ranging from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters to the Northwoods Land Trust. 
  • Land Trust of the Year – Driftless Area Land Conservancy is a nationally accredited land trust that has protected over 7,000 acres of unique natural and agricultural landscapes in southwest Wisconsin. Through strong leadership from their board and staff, DALC has grown into an invaluable local asset, providing public access, advocacy, and outdoor educational services in communities across their 5-county service area.
  • Policymaker of the Year – State Senator Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls has demonstrated an enduring commitment to land and water conservation in Wisconsin through her role on the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, her service on the board of the Wisconsin Conservation Corps, and her role as a founding board member of the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust. Her long-time support of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program embodies Wisconsin’s strong bi-partisan legacy of land conservation.


A special thank you to our generous sponsors!


Lead Sponsors

David and Nancy Walsh Family Foundation

Land Legacy Sponsors

Jay Benkowski & Carla Freeman

Kristine Euclide and Doug Steege
John K. Notz Jr.
Eric and Jane Schumann

Land and Water Guardians

Robert W. Baird & Co
Douglas and Sherry Caves
Community Shares of Wisconsin
Donde, LLC
Tony Earl and Jane Nemke Earl, in honor of Dan Wisniewski
Matt and Kay Frank, in honor of Jim Welsh and Dan Wisniewski
Joy and Rob Gottschalk
Don and Ingrid Hammes
Darcy Kind and Marc Vitale, in honor of Jim Welsh
Tom and Margie Krauskopf, in honor of Jim Welsh and Dan Wisniewski
Thysse Printing
Russell Scott
Gary Werner and Melanie Lord, in honor of Jim Welsh

Stewardship Supporters

David & Kate Allen
Chuck Bauer, in honor of Jim Welsh
Linda Bochert
Charles and Dianna Colman
Vicki Elkin and Mike Ivey, in honor of Jim Welsh
Kimberly Gleffe and Dean Eggert
Great Nature Wisconsin LLC
Greg and Jane Hyer, in honor of Jim Welsh and Dan Wisniewski
Roma Lenehan
Margaret Lewis, in honor of Sheila Harsdorf
Bill Lunney and Judie Pfeifer
Bill and Suzann McClenahan
Jean and Walter A. Meanwell
Northwoods Land Trust
Jeff and Barb Ottum
Peter and Sharon Peshek
Lew and Vicki Posekany
Steep & Brew Coffee
Richard and Laurel Steffes
Trish Stocking
Michael and Molly Strigel
Sharon and Jed White
Karen and Fred Wollenburg, in honor of Jim Welsh
Mike and Barbara Wollmer, in honor of Jim Welsh and Sheila Harsdorf
Carla Wright
Jan Zimmermann, in honor of Jim Welsh and Dan Wisniewski


By becoming a sponsor, you can help:

Raise the profile of land conservation in Wisconsin;

Honor the award winners and add to the magic of the evening;

Ensure this beloved celebration lives on.


Learn more about the benefits of becoming a sponsor:

About the Audience

Corporate Sponsorship Levels and Benefits

Individual Household Sponsorship Levels and Benefits


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