Tim Swanson of Bozeman has won the prestigious 2012 National Wetlands Award for Conservation and Restoration from the Environmental Law Institute. Swanson, who retired recently from The Nature Conservancy in Montana, was honored for his work in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Tim was a true pioneer in community-based conservation efforts in the Centennial and Big Hole Valleys. He has also been a champion for partnerships that bring together scientists, landowners, public agencies, and conservation groups.
“Tim’s vision and infectious passion has brought together people with widely differing perspectives in support of a common goal. His patience, intelligence, and good humor have inspired conservation successes that will endure for many generations.” says Kat Imhoff, State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Montana.”
In the nominating letter, Randy Gazda of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides an excellent summary of why Tim so deserved this award:
“Tim Swanson is a genius at detecting the common goals of divergent groups. An exceptional listener, Tim built trust and respect in rural communities, earning him a reputation as someone who champions the family ranching culture of southwest Montana and delivers on his promises. As a result, more than 55 percent of private lands in the wetland-rich Centennial Valley are preserved with conservation easements that prohibit draining and filling wetlands ... Tim created a dynamic intern program, guiding and challenging over 40 students to work on scientific research and stewardship projects with ranchers. He mentored many to pursue careers in conservation, further contributing to a lasting, landscape-scale legacy.”
The National Wetlands Awards are presented annually to individuals who have excelled in wetlands protection, restoration, and education. The program is administered by the Environmental Law Institute and supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Federal Highway Administration, and NOAA Fisheries.
The winners are selected by a committee representing a broad array of interests including the federal agencies supporting the effort, members of the conservation and business communities, and representatives from state and local governments. Selection Committee members are carefully selected to represent a diversity of geographic areas, as well as a diversity of wetland expertise.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.