The Ed Hill Conservation Award honors the memory of conservation-minded Teton Valley rancher, Ed Hill. The Teton Regional Land Trust presents the Ed Hill Conservation Award annually to the individual or group that best demonstrates an active interest in conservation of land and community in the Upper Snake River Valley. The 2009 Ed Hill award went to Jeffrey Klausmann for his years of personal and professional dedication to conservation efforts in the Upper Snake River Watershed.
Jeff is a leader in the conservation community and has devoted his time and expertise to assist agencies, organizations, local governments and landowners conserve, enhance and restore wildlife habitat throughout the Intermountain West. Jeff is a past TRLT board member where he provided valuable knowledge and critique for conservation easements and restoration planning. He has been instrumental in notifying landowners of conservation options for their properties, resulting in hundreds of acres of conservation easements and wildlife habitat restoration.
Jeff, his wife Darcy and his family are committed land stewards and have donated three conservation easements on 546 acres that have helped leverage federal and private funding for acquisition and restoration of thousands of additional acres now permanently protected with conservation easements. Habitat restoration and enhancement on the Klausmann family’s conservation easements provide key wildlife habitat for various state and federal priority species, while ensuring opportunities for sustainable agricultural practices. ■
The Fred Mugler Volunteer Appreciation Award honors the memory of an icon of Teton Valley and the Rocky Mountain West, Fred Mugler. This Volunteer Appreciation Award, to be granted annually, recognizes the often quiet and always appreciated spirit of volunteerism that makes the Teton Regional Land Trust a success.
This year TRLT recognized Cynthia Guild Stoetzer for generously giving many hours of her time for the benefit of conservation of agricultural and natural lands in the Upper Snake River Watershed. In 2004, TRLT moved its offices to a recently renovated farmhouse. The building had no landscaping between the front office entry and the parking area. TRLT values natural landscape for its biological diversity and scenic beauty and it wanted to reflect these values in the disturbed area. Cynthia offered to donate her services and expertise to design and landscape a long narrow space between the building and parking area. She designed a natural-looking rock garden reflective of the greater Rocky Mountain landscape. The garden was planted with native low-water-use plants that grow naturally in the Teton Valley area. In a marginal space a miniature self-sustaining ecosystem was created. The garden provides season long blooms and even in winter it provides interest with the large rocks and plant stocks that peek out through the snow. Best of all, it helps reflect TRLT’s mission to preserve, protect and celebrate our unique environment and sense of place in the valley.
Cynthia has also assisted with fundraising efforts. She has donated several beautiful art pieces to TRLT and donated profits from her art opening at the Muse Gallery. Finally, Cynthia is always willing to round up the band Forty Story Shack to make TRLT fundraising events festive and popular. ■
Our first ever Heart and Soul Award was presented to Albert and Chris Tilt of Tetonia in 2001. Albert and Chris have been an integral part of TRLT all the way back to the beginning in 1990. The staff was pleased to present the Albert and Chris Tilt Heart and Soul Award for 2009 to Dean Scofield, board treasurer and finance committee chair. Dean Scofield has been on the board of directors since early 2006, serving as treasurer since 2007. Dean is a professional investment advisor and co-owner of Pinney & Scofield, Inc., an investment firm based in Massachusetts, and his financial and investment expertise have been invaluable to the Teton Regional Land Trust. In 2007, Dean spearheaded an overhaul of the TRLT quasi-endowment fund that supports our most critical assets to maintain and monitor conservation easements in perpetuity. With help from the finance committee, he crafted a new policy for management and investment of financial assets, as well as an external investment policy that was passed by the full board of directors. His recommended changes in our investment policies were made just in time for the decline in the current markets.
Dean has also helped TRLT write a strong internal financial policy to maintain checks and balances and assure accountability to our donors and members. He spends dozens of hours assisting with the yearly budgeting and projection process, and he has created strong models for contingency planning. Dean also finds time to attend monthly finance meetings as well as board meetings to help TRLT make important decisions for fiscal viability. ■