The Nature Conservancy honored Oregon’s “conservation heroes” today at its eleventh annual Conservation Leadership Awards Luncheon. Held at the Oregon Zoo, the event brought together 400 community and business leaders to recognize individuals, community partners, businesses and others for their leadership in conserving Oregon’s natural lands and waters.
“Oregonians are incredibly fortunate to have so many beautiful and important places worth protecting, and we're honoring the leaders who are helping to preserve that legacy,” said Russell Hoeflich, Oregon director of The Nature Conservancy.
A year-long celebration of the Conservancy’s 50th anniversary in Oregon, initiated at the previous year’s award event, concluded with a toast to Oregon’s next 50 years.
“In reflecting on our first 50 years, the most important lesson we’ve learned is that together, we can achieve far more than any of us might think is possible,” noted Hoeflich. In a presentation on "The Future of Conservation," Hoeflich said that by scaling up conservation practices over broader landscapes and by reaching out to engage more people in conservation, “We can envision a world more whole, more healthy, and more sustainable.”
The Oregon Chapter of The Nature Conservancy was founded in 1961. The first three preserves in the 1960s were Camassia Natural Area in West Linn, Cascade Head Preserve on the central coast, and the Sandy River Gorge Preserve east of Portland. Today, the Conservancy owns or cooperatively manages 47 preserves statewide and has helped to protect more than 500,000 acres in Oregon. Protected areas include the 33,000-acre Zumwalt Prairie Preserve in Wallowa County and the recently acquired 1,270-acre Willamette Confluence restoration project on the Middle and Coast Forks of the Willamette River near Eugene.
ODS is presenting sponsor of The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Leadership Awards.
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.
Director of Communications