New York, NY- Field & Stream, the world's leading outdoor magazine, honored the 2010 Heroes of Conservation at a gala event in Washington D.C. Wednesday night. The six recipients of the award were each presented with a $5,000 conservation grant and the Conservation Hero of the Year walked away with a new Toyota 4Runner, all made possible by the generosity and support of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Field & Stream's 2010 Heroes of Conservation are featured in the October issue of the magazine, on newsstands now, and are also profiled in episodes of Field & Stream's HOC TV, available at www.FieldandStream.com/heroes
. Field & Stream's Heroes of Conservation Awards recognize sportsmen dedicated to the grassroots protection of fish, wildlife, and habitat.
"Sportsmen don't just talk about protecting wildlife and wild places," says Anthony Licata, Editor of Field & Stream. "They actually do it. The conservationists we named heroes tonight are out in their community doing grassroots work, while also inspiring a lot more people to get involved and do their part. We're proud to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments."
The seven honorees were celebrated at the fifth annual Heroes of Conservation Awards Gala, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., Wednesday night. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack gave the keynote address at the event. Each of the heroes walked away with a $5,000 grant toward their conservation projects and Gale Dupree, named the 2010 Field & StreamConservation Hero of the Year received the keys to a new Toyota 4Runner. Also recognized was the Northern Front Range Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation, which won the 2010 Heroes of Conservation Chapter of the Year Award.
"This is a very important program to Toyota because it acknowledges individuals who go out of their way to make the environment a better place," said Keith Dahl, National Marketing Manager for Toyota. "These people aren't looking for gratitude or recognition. Instead, they work tirelessly because they want to make a difference - for our generation and generations to come. We take great pride in being able to spotlight their efforts on a national stage."
The outstanding conservation efforts of these Heroes can be seen in action on Field & Stream's HOC TV. Each week the program highlights a different honoree's project, demonstrating their commitment and dedication to the preservation of natural resources. For highlights from the gala, or to catch new and previous episodes, please visitwww.FieldandStream.com/heroes
FIELD & STREAM'S 2010 HEROES OF CONSERVATION:
Bob Capron of Cody, Wyo.
A lifelong resident of Wyoming, Capron has been aware of "entrainment"-fish becoming trapped in irrigation canals-since he was a boy. As conservation chair of Trout Unlimited's East Yellowstone chapter, he urged the group to launch a rescue effort that involves electroshocking and safely replacing the trapped fish in the river. Despite rescuing up to 3,000 trout each year, the group still considers the effort a "Band-Aid" solution. A more permanent fix, believes Capron, are modern, self-cleaning screens, which the chapter has begun to install with the help of the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. The ultimate goal is to keep the fish in the river. "I'd like to leave something here in Wyoming that's similar to what I saw when I was a kid," he says.
Nancy Craft of Hughesville, Pa.
Craft is an active member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (18 years), Ducks Unlimited (21 years), the National Wild Turkey Federation (eight), and Women in the Outdoors (seven). She has helped start a chapter of each respective group. A retired teacher, Craft and her husband, Gary, recently started a shooting club for students at Sullivan County High School. "When they step onto that firing line, they become adults," she says.
Gale Dupree of Loyalton, Calif.
Dupree noticed a decline of sage grouse in Nevada, so he helped develop a handbook that informs landowners of how to improve nesting habitat for the birds. He also mobilizes volunteers to count leks (strutting grounds) in spring. "They're what you call an indicator species," Dupree says of grouse. "If they're not doing well, other populations of wildlife are not doing well, either." A 30-year member of the Nevada Wildlife Federation, he serves on several local conservation boards.
Les Monostory of Fayetteville, N.Y.
Monostory founded the Central New York chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America in 1989, and since then he has devoted himself to the reclamation of Onondaga Lake. The chapter hosts an annual fishing tournament at the lake to raise awareness of industrial contamination (Monostory says fishing there would have been unthinkable 30 years ago). And through Project Watershed, which Monostory helped start in 1994, the group engages high school and elementary students in both water-quality monitoring and debris removal in the lake's tributaries. "Working with pollution issues-it's not an overnight thing," he says.
Gordon and Terri Southwick of Garibaldi Ore.
For the past 13 years, Gordon Southwick and his wife, Terri, have run a chinook salmon hatchery along a creek near Tillamook Bay. Each winter, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife provides the eggs-about 100,000-that the couple cultivates in boxes built from donated lumber. From January to March, they drive from their nearby home and tend the eggs, carefully shaking out silt and culling any bad ones. Working on a strictly volunteer basis, they're on track to release their 1 millionth fish this year. "We've fished all of our lives and we brought our kids up fishing," Gordon says. "It's just some way of paying back."
John Walther of Thibodaux, La.
Walther, who is co-chairman of the Coastal Conservation Association's habitat initiative in Louisiana, coordinates artificial oyster reef projects-a crucial role after the Gulf oil disaster. Under his leadership, the organization has installed five limestone reefs off the coast. Currently, CCA Louisiana is working with state agencies to accelerate their efforts. "We have worked hard for many years to maintain a sustainable fishery," Walther says. "And we will not give up now.
Field & Stream has been committed to the preservation of natural resources for more than 100 years. The magazine helped to popularize the term "conservation ethic" in 1907 and in 2005 featured an article titled "Heroes of Conservation," focused on the local efforts of everyday outdoorsmen. Out of this, a new program was created to recognize sportsmen's efforts to protect fish and wildlife. Since the introduction of the program, the magazine has been proud to profile and support the conservation efforts of more than 160 men and women.
The Heroes of Conservation Awards are open to individuals involved in a hunting- and/or fishing-related conservation project that is well under way or completed. Selections are based on a number of factors, including leadership, commitment, project growth, and results. One grand prize winner receives a new Toyota 4Runner, and a cash prize of $5,000 is awarded to each finalist. For complete details, including rules, regulations, and nomination instructions for 2011, please visitwww.FieldandStream.com/heroes
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