Conservation Awards

Top nominees and winners will be recognized at the 8th Annual Green Gala on May 7, 2016 in Asheville, North Carolina.

Click here to learn more about this year’s Green Gala.

Top Nominees for the 2016 Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards

  • Outstanding Conservationist
    • Dayna Reggero: Director of The Climate Listening Project, Asheville, North Carolina
    • Jane Branham: President of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Norton, Virginia
    • Bob Gale: Ecologist & Public Lands Director of MountainTrue, Asheville, North Carolina
    • Carl Silverstein: Executive Director of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Asheville, North Carolina
    • Dr. John (Jack) Agricola: Past President of the Alabama Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, Gadsden, Georgia
  • Outstanding Educator
    • Jackie Truitt Pose: Elementary School Teacher at Lawrence County Schools, Town Creek, Alabama
    • Kim Wheeler: Executive Director of The Red Wolf Coalition, Columbia, North Carolina
    • Drew Lanham: Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
  • Outstanding Youth
    • Bennett David: Scout/Student-Volunteer, Boy Scout Troop 91, Asheville, North Carolina
    • Olivia & Carter Ries: Founders of One More Generation, Fayetteville, Georgia
  • Outstanding Small Business
    • Holladog Farms: Organic Farm, Pamplico, South Carolina
  • Outstanding Journalist
    • Will Harlan: Editor of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Asheville, North Carolina
    • Morgan Simmons, Environmental Reporter for Knoxville News Sentinel

Special Awards:

  • Outstanding Community Conservationist: To recognize an individual’s contribution to education and community engagement on conservation, spanning many categories of achievement. This is a special, one-year award designated by the Roosevelt-Ashe Selection Committee.
    • Forest Hilyer: Chair of Lumpkin Coalition, Dahlonega, Georgia
  • Kayah Gaydish Award: For an individual who has advanced Wild South’s mission and vision and has demonstrated the same dedication Kayah had for inspiring others to protect our wild places.
    • Ben Prater: Southeast Program Director of Defenders of Wildlife, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Cultural Heritage Award: For an individual who has demonstrated commitment to preserving cultural heritage in our region.
    • Robin Swayney: Program Manager, Qualla Boundary Library, Cherokee, NC.
  • Public Service Award: For a dedicated public servant whose work has promoted a conservation vision and values that mirror Wild South’s and represents the type of conscientious stewardship of natural resources that promotes collaborative partnerships with organizations.
    • Gary Kaufman: Botanist & Ecologist of U.S. Forest Service, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Friend of Wilderness Award: For an individual who has worked to designate and increase protection for our special wild places in the Southeast.
    • Mike Leonard: Board Chair of The Conservation Fund and attorney at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


Conservation Awards Namesakes

Since 2008, Wild South has presented the Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards at the annual Green Gala. The Awards are named for President Theodore Roosevelt and Mr. W.W. Ashe. Their conservation values mirror our own and we pay homage to their landmark work to protect forests in the South and across the United States. Nominations are reviewed and scored by the Roosevelt-Ashe Selection Committee comprised of conservation leaders in the region.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was a historian, naturalist, explorer, author, soldier, Governor and the 26th President of the United States. Roosevelt, a Republican, was a progressive reformer. During his tenure as President he carried out the largest government-funded conservation projects in U.S. history. He promoted the conservation movement and preserved millions of acres of land for the public good by creating what would become our national park and national forest systems.
William Willard Ashe (1872-1932), the first forester employed by the state of North Carolina, was a major architect of the acquisition of eastern national forests. In contrast to other foresters of his time, he understood the importance of biological diversity. Ashe was a person of notable integrity in the conservation of forest lands in eastern North America, particularly in the Southeast.

Green Gala