The Nature Conservancy in Alabama’s Director Named Outstanding Conservationist for 2012

State director recognized as the 2012 “Outstanding Conservationist” recipient during the 5th Annual Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards.

BIRMINGHAM, AL  | March 25, 2013

Chris Oberholster, state director for The Nature Conservancy’s Alabama Chapter, was recognized as the 2012 “Outstanding Conservationist” recipient during the 5th Annual Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards. The awards were announced and presented at Wild South’s annual Green Gala in Asheville, North Carolina on Friday, March 22.

Wild South is an environmental conservation non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire people to enjoy, value and protect the wild character and natural legacy of the South. Since 2008, Wild South has presented the Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards at their annual Green Gala. The awards recognize outstanding conservation work in the South. This year’s nominees represented five states and exemplified dedication and passion for environmental conservation.

“These awards recognize present day conservation heroes for their contributions to protect wild places and wild things across our region,” said Tracy Davids, Wild South’s Executive Director. “So we think it’s important to recognize and celebrate the fabulous work being done to unite public voices for environmental protection, promote conservation science and education, advocate for wildlife and protect cultural heritage on public lands. Like Teddy Roosevelt and W.W. Ashe, for whom our giving society and awards are named, their work exemplifies passion, dedication, and leadership.”

Chris Oberholster has worked to conserve the rich and unique landscapes of Alabama over the past 20 years. “It has been a privilege to conserve the natural heritage of Alabama, and I consider it a deep honor to receive this award,” said Oberholster.” A particularly important milestone for conservation in Alabama was achieved in November 2012 when voters approved a ballot measure to renew the Forever Wild program for another 20 years to protect additional natural lands for people and nature in Alabama. I am proud that The Nature Conservancy played an instrumental role in that success.”

“Wild South is very proud to present these annual awards, and each year I continue to be inspired by the nominees” said Mitch Orland, Wild South’s Board Member and Leadership Donor. “The award recipients demonstrate how we can work together to make a difference and protect our planet for future generations.”

The Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Award Winners are:

Outstanding Conservationist
Chris Oberholster (The Nature Conservancy in Alabama, Birmingham, AL)
Outstanding Business in Conservation
Avondale Brewing Company (Birmingham, AL)
Outstanding Journalist in Conservation
George Ellison (Bryson City, NC)
Outstanding Educator in Conservation
Heather Montgomery (McDowell Environmental Center, AL)
Outstanding Youth in Conservation
Avalon Theisen (Conserve it Forward/Save the Frogs, FL)

The Award winners are selected by an independent committee comprised of highly respected conservationists from across the South. Their task was incredibly difficult due to the amazing pool of nominees.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Natalie Garcia
Communications and Event Coordinator
2100 1st Avenue North, Suite 500
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
205-251-1155, ext 107


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