National Wildlife Federation Announces Conservation Achievement Award Winners at Annual Meeting

NWF honors individuals who volunteer their time, commitment and service to the organization’s conservation movement

03-18-2013 // Anne Goddard

Six National Wildlife Federation volunteers were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the organization’s conservation efforts at NWF’s annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday, March 16th, 2013.

Volunteer of the Year Phil Taunton

Phil Taunton of Kansas has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Volunteer of the Year award. Having served on Kansas Wildlife Federation’s board of directors for 10 years, Phil has been a passionate proponent of inspiring families to get involved in the outdoors. He has exhibited amazing leadership as an outdoor educator through many facets such as his weekly outdoor adventure column, local conservation education organizations and through doing advocacy work for Kansas Association for Conservation & Environmental Education on the No Child Left Inside Coalition task force. His dedication and service to NWF’s mission has highlighted Phil as an exemplary outdoorsman and NWF volunteer.

The Affiliate of the Year award has been awarded to The Conservation Council for Hawai’i for their outstanding accomplishments and collaborative efforts with NWF and its supporters. This organization has been on the forefront of major campaigns to recover endangered Hawaiian plant and animal species for more than 60 years. Among many other conservation successes, their dedication has led to three successful lawsuits to protect native wildlife under the Endangered Species Act and critical habitat reserves.

Sandy Greene of Virginia, Connie Harvey of Colorado and Hal Herring of Montana were all recipients of the Special Achievement award for their exemplary dedication to wildlife conservation and land preservation. High school senior, Jessica Howe of Washington, was chosen as the Youth recipient of the Special Achievement award for her continual commitment to environmental sustainability and her demonstrated leadership in local environmental awareness programs.

At the annual meeting, NWF added two new at-large members to its board of directors, Ron Clausen, from Point Richmond, CA and Ramon Lopez, from Newport Beach, CA. The full list of NWF board members is found here.

Also at the meeting, the board elected Deborah Spalding, from Guildford, CT, to serve a two-year term as board chair.

Since the first annual Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet- now famed as the “Connie” Awards—began in 1966, the NWF has celebrated individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting wildlife through education, advocacy, communication and on-the-ground conservation. Previous honorees have included actor Robert Redford, former Vice President Al Gore, former President Jimmy Carter and Bette Midler.

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