Land trust announces 2019 Outstanding in the Field Award candidates

The North Olympic Land Trust nominated three candidates for this year’s Outstanding in the Field Award. Nominees include John Gussman of Doubleclick Production, Streamkeepers of Clallam County, and the North Olympic Salmon Coalition.

For the past five years, the Land Trust has presented this award to highlight the work done within an individual or organization’s field of expertise that has positively impacted the North Olympic Peninsula and its communities.

To select this year’s award recipient, Land Trust officials are seeking public input. Community members have until Wednesday, Feb. 13, to recommend the candidate of their choice on the Land Trust website or via e-mail to alana@northolympiclandtrust.org.

“This award allows the organization and greater community an opportunity to show our appreciation to those who help to improve the quality of life on the North Olympic Peninsula,” Tom Sanford, North Olympic Land Trust executive director, said.

Past honorees include Ron Allen and the Natural Resources staff at Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Jefferson Land Trust, Dick Goin, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and their Natural Resources Department and the Clallam Conservation District.

The Land Trust will present the Outstanding in the Field Award at its annual Conservation Breakfast. This year marks the 11th Conservation Breakfast, set for Friday, March 22. The breakfast is open to the public and complimentary with an RSVP; however, donations are appreciated.

This year’s keynote speaker is Seattle Times environment reporter Lynda Mapes. Mapes will discuss the ebb and flow of orca recovery in Puget Sound and its connection to conservation on the North Olympic Peninsula.

About North Olympic Land Trust North Olympic Land Trust is dedicated to the conservation of open spaces, local food, local resources, healthy watersheds and recreational opportunities. Its mission is to conserve lands that sustain the communities of Clallam County. Since 1990, the Land Trust has conserved more than 3,300 acres across the North Olympic Peninsula for farms, fish and forests. For more information, visit northolympiclandtrust.org.

About the candidates

The Land Trust Board of Directors, staff and committees selected the 2019 candidates for varying reasons, but each share a dedication toward maintaining and enhancing social and environmental health and resiliency of this area, explained Land Trust Community Engagement Specialist Alana Linderoth.

Gussman is a photographer and cinematographer who not only helped to tell the story of the Olympic Peninsula through his work on the award-winning film “Return of the River,” but often works with local nonprofits, businesses and community groups to bring their projects to life, Linderoth said.

“John’s work connects people to place and helps inspire a sense of stewardship and respect of the Peninsula’s natural beauty,” she said.

The North Olympic Salmon Coalition – a nonprofit dedicated to promoting robust wild salmon stocks for families, fishers, and local economies by furthering habitat restoration and education on the North Olympic Peninsula – has completed an array of projects to improve the region’s fish-bearing streams and rivers. Additionally, the organization provides educational programming and hands-on habitat restoration volunteer experiences.

One of the Salmon Coalition’s most notable and recently completed projects was the restoration of estuarine and wetland habitat at 3 Crabs in Dungeness.

“The successful leadership of the Salmon Coalition and the partnerships they brought together resulted in the restoration of more than 40 acres of coastal wetlands and half-mile of stream channel,” Linderoth said. “This project reflects the type of impactful work the Salmon Coalition makes possible.”

Streamkeepers of Clallam County is a citizen-based watershed monitoring program of Clallam County’s Public Works Roads Department that provides volunteer opportunities and project assistance critical to protecting and restoring local watersheds. Beyond ongoing data collection and analysis of the biological, physical and chemical health of area streams, the organization teaches about watershed stewardship, fosters citizen science, and assists other organizations.

“Whether monitoring stream flows, collecting stormwater samples or tracking salmon spawning activity, data essential for informing and guiding restoration and conservation efforts on the North Olympic Peninsula are available thanks to the longtime dedication of Streamkeepers,” Linderoth said.

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