NEW YORK, New York, the world’s leading outdoor magazine, today announced the finalists for the 2014 Heroes of Conservation Awards. Now in its ninth year, Field & Stream’s Heroes of Conservation program is dedicated to honoring volunteers involved in grassroots projects that protect and maintain fish and wildlife habitat across the country.
The Heroes of Conservation finalists will be celebrated at a gala event in Washington, D.C., on September 17, where each will be presented with a $5,000 grant. One honoree will be named Field & Stream’s Conservation Hero of the Year and be awarded a new Toyota Tundra, courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., the program’s exclusive sponsor since its inception. Country musician Josh Thompson is scheduled to entertain the invitation-only crowd at the event.
“The six finalists are all remarkable individuals,” said Anthony Licata, Editorial Director of Field & Stream. “They saw conservation problems and didn’t wait for someone else to take the lead─they charged in and took the rest of us along with them. We’re grateful for their passion and dedication and are honored to share their stories.”
Field & Stream’s October issue, available on newsstands September 17, will highlight the finalists with a full-length feature including interviews with each honoree. A twelve-part video series on fieldandstream.com will also celebrate the finalists, showcasing them hard at work in the environments they are working to save. Beginning in early August, two new videos will be posted to fieldandstream.com/heroes each week.
“This is a very important program to Toyota because it acknowledges individuals who go out of their way to make the environment a better place,” said Steve Appelbaum, National Manager, Engagement Marketing, Toyota Motor Sales. “These people aren’t looking for gratitude or recognition. Instead, they work tirelessly because they want to make a difference – for our generation and generations to come. We take great pride in being able to spotlight their efforts on a national stage.”
This year’s honorees represent an impressive cast of outdoorsmen, who are working across the country on inspiring volunteer projects, including:
Bill Anderson of Altoona, Pa., is leading the Little Juniata River Association in a full-scale habitat improvement and restoration project of the namesake river.
Ron Crabtree of Murfreesboro, Tenn., is a major voice for bobwhite quail, lobbying for the bird’s habitat needs and enrolling landowners in conservation programs to benefit the birds.
Ryan Krapp of Bismarck, N.D., has been instrumental in raising the funds to enroll landowners in the state’s Private Land Open to Sportsmen (PLOTS) program and is lobbying the energy industry for a more balanced approach to development.
Ken Miracle of Boise, Idaho, a photographer who donates his images to benefit sage grouse and also works hands-on to restore wet meadows–important areas for sage grouse chicks to feed.
Dr. John Muramatsu of Des Moines, Wash., has worked on coho salmon stream restoration projects and scientific studies for the past 21 years, raises funds for salmon restoration, and helps introduce children to conservation work.
Scott Rall, Worthington, Minn., helped facilitate the acquisition of 2,500 acres of land for conservation where habitat improvement projects are now underway.
The Field & Stream Heroes of Conservation Gala has featured an impressive cast of talent over the years and that tradition continues in 2014 with country music recording artist and avid outdoorsman Josh Thompson. Thompson, who will perform a live acoustic set during the September 17 event, launched his career in 2009 with hits “Beer On The Table” and “Way Out Here.” This year, Thompson released his second studio album, Turn it Up, which features the popular single “Cold Beer With Your Name On It,” as well as his current single “Wanted Me Gone.”
Field & Stream has been committed to the preservation of natural resources for more than 100 years. The magazine, founded in part to help inform outdoorsmen about conservation and ethics measures, helped to popularize the term “conservation ethic” in 1907. In 2005, Field & Stream continued that tradition with an article titled “Heroes of Conservation,” focused on the local efforts of everyday outdoorsmen. Out of this, a new program was created to recognize sportsmen’s efforts to protect fish and wildlife. Since the introduction of the program, the magazine has been proud to profile and support the conservation efforts of more than 200 men and women.
The Heroes of Conservation Awards are open to individuals involved in a hunting- and/or fishing-related conservation project that is well under way or completed. Selections are based on a number of factors, including leadership, commitment, project growth, and results. For complete details, including rules, regulations, and nomination instructions, please visit fieldandstream.com/heroes.