Larimer County Honors 2013 Environmental Stewardship Winners
Department: Board of County Commissioners
Release Date: Dec 10, 2013
Doug Ryan, Environmental Health Planner/EAB Staff, 498-6777, firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM: Deni La Rue, Community Information Manager, (970) 498-7150, email@example.com
SUBJECT: Larimer County Honors 2013 Environmental Stewardship Winners
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Larimer County, Colorado – The Board of Larimer County Commissioners today announced the 2013 Larimer County Environmental Stewardship Awards. These awards, began in 1995, are given each year to honor the environmental efforts of county residents, businesses and organizations. With today’s five awards added for 2013, a total of 71 awards have been presented to programs, people and organizations since the program began 19 years ago. Winning programs are innovative and proactive, and show exceptional effort and concern for stewardship of the Larimer County environment. .
The County’s volunteer-citizen Environmental and Science Advisory Board reviews the nominations and makes recommendations to the Commissioners who determine the recipients. In announcing the 2013 awards, the Board of Larimer County Commissioners explained their reasoning behind each of the three awards:
- Sarah Bayer, for her leadership and guidance on the High Park Fire Research and Recovery Project, a Fort Collins Polaris Expeditionary Learning School high school student project. The students are studying fire ecology and burned area restoration and this includes long-term monitoring of fire effects at the Mariah Tree Farm in Redstone Canyon, which was heavily impacted by the High Park Fire. The students also conducted a restoration project on the property in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Colorado State Forest Service and the Larimer County Weed District. In addition, the students had classroom study which included professional CSU mentors. The result is a real and valuable research project carried out at the high school level. Planning and organizing a school-year long project of this nature requires exceptional dedication and Sara Bayer is an exceptional teacher who provides the kind of guidance and caring that is needed to motivate students to believe in themselves and their abilities.
2. Troy Seaworth, for his leadership in implementing and demonstrating conservation practices on over 1,000 acres of irrigated cropland north of Wellington. Those practices include a change from conventional moldboard plowing to strip tillage which leaves more crop residue on the soil surface thus reducing erosion. The practice also allows Mr. Seaworth to reduce fuel, irrigation water, nutrient and pesticide input. Other practices Mr. Seaworth has employed are: the use of center pivot irrigation technology combined with GPS; soil mapping; and, soil moisture monitors for precise irrigation control. Mr. Seaworth has also been a leader in holding field days to discuss and demonstrate his operation with other farmers, USDA (United States Dept. of Agriculture) officials, Growers Associations, tillage manufactures and Land Grant University Extension agents and researchers. Troy Seaworth has demonstrated that individual commitment to land stewardship, combined with technical know-how and a willingness to communicate with others has the potential to enhance environmental stewardship on important agricultural lands.
3. Gallegos Sanitation, Inc. for their program ‘Gallegos Sustainable Innovations (GSI). Gallegos Sanitation went above and beyond the usual business model to support sustainable practices in the area of solid waste management. Their program ‘Gallegos Sustainable Innovations’ (GSI) provides initiatives such as full-service yard waste management and offers consultation to businesses on recycling and waste diversion opportunities –GSI dedicated staff members visit areas schools to educate on recycling, composting and waste diversion. They also assist with and sometimes sponsor local events aimed at zero or low-waste events. The ‘Gallegos Sustainable Innovations’ program demonstrates that environmental stewardship in the waste management industry sometimes involves activities that might be seen as counter to the traditional role of collecting solid waste from customers. Seen in a larger context, it is clear that these sustainable practices are a benefit to the company and the community they serve.
- James B Shaklee, a leader on the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers weed crew, was nominated by that organization for his dedication and effectiveness. Shaklee’s education on weeds and the methods for their control began on his own property in Rist Canyon. He brought that knowledge and persistence to the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers in 2006. The weed crew works to prevent the spread of invasive, noxious weeds along hiking trails on US Forest Service lands, Wilderness areas in the Poudre and Big Thompson Canyons, and, the Red Feather Lakes area. Each year Jim Shaklee provides training to new and returning members on the identification and control of weeds. He also provides an annual three-hour class for the public on noxious weeds that occur in Larimer County. In return, class attendees are asked to sign up for one weed pulling event. In the five years that the weed crew has been actively pulling musk thistle at the North Fork trailhead at Glen Haven, the density of this weed has been reduced from the predominant species to an occasional plant. Jim Shaklee’s efforts show that a knowledgeable approach combined with commitment and energy can benefit our public lands and educate many people along the way.
5. Richard L Eversole, for his long-term efforts at forest and wildlife habitat improvement on his 165 acres of forested land in the Cherokee Park area in northern Larimer County. Working in cooperation with the Colorado State Forest Tree Farm Program, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife Northern Larimer County Habitat Program, Mr. Eversole has dedicated much of his time to labor-intensive activities such as removing mistletoe and pine beetle infested trees, weed control, and wildlife habitat restoration. The reviewers felt that this nomination described an unusual level of commitment and work for such a large property. It shows that land stewardship on forested property impacted by issues such as pine beetle requires considerable commitment, knowledge, and energy. This Environmental Stewardship award recognizes these efforts and the example they set for other landowners.
A complete list of Larimer County’s Environmental Stewardship Awards, 1995-2012, is located on the Virtual Courthouse, Larimer County’s web site at: