Land Conservation Leadership Awards Celebration

Sep 25, 2014  •  Monona Terrace, Madison  •  5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

This event is our opportunity to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of individuals, policy makers, and land trusts who are working to protect the places that make Wisconsin special. The awards honor the power of committed citizens and offer inspiring examples of conservation success.

2014 Auction Items

This year’s event includes a silent auction, savory hors d’oeuvres, desserts and a few extra surprises in honor of our 20th anniversary.

Congratulations to this year's Land Conservation Leadership award winners

  • Land Trust of the Year The Conservation Fund is a national land trust whose Upper Midwest Initiative has had a significant impact in Wisconsin. TCF’s conservation efforts are known for collaborations which serve to enhance and protect air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and public recreation areas which preserve connections to our natural, cultural and historical heritage—all while creating opportunities to sustain and enhance economic drivers based in natural resource management. Nearly 76,000 acres have been protected in Wisconsin as part of TCFs Upper Midwest Initiative. This work, accomplished in less than 10 years, is phenomenal.

  • Rod Nilsestuen Award for Working Lands Preservation- Margaret Burlingham of Palmyra, is a leader in statewide efforts to preserve and protect Wisconsin’s farmland. Her work on several committees and teams, including her service as chair of the Jefferson County Farmland Easement Commission, has led to successes in the areas of farmland preservation planning, easements, advocacy, outreach, and education. Her leadership has resulted in the permanent protection of hundreds of acres of farmland and has helped JCFEC become one of the leading local farmland preservation groups in the state.

  • Conservationist of the YearMelissa Cook of Milwaukee, has demonstrated incredible vision and perseverance for over fifteen years, in the development, promotion, stewardship and enhancement of the Hank Aaron State Trail in the Menomonee Valley. This urban state trail contributes opportunities for recreation and fitness, improvements to an important environmental corridor, rehabilitation of urban waterways, economic growth, and overall quality of urban life. Through her leadership, Melissa has helped to develop a sense of ownership, stewardship and wonder among central city populations not often reached by typical environmental outreach efforts.   

  • Conservationist of the Year - Matt Dallman of Minocqua, has consistently demonstrated outstanding conservation leadership, ideas, and commitment to partnership. As the Nature Conservancy’s Director of Conservation for Northern Wisconsin, he has worked effectively and cooperatively with many groups, including local land trusts, and has a reputation for navigating challenging and divisive issues among stakeholders in a manner that respects everyone, while never deviating from his core principals and objectives. His experience and collective approach to solving difficult challenges has helped protect Wisconsin’s forests and countless special places and many tens of thousands of acres.     

  • Harold “Bud” Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award - Roy & Charlotte Lukes of Egg Harbor, are treasured Door County naturalists and conservation icons. From building Wisconsin’s first land trust, the Ridges Sanctuary, into a statewide model for nature centers, to publishing an extensive collection of articles, books and photographs about Door County’s natural wonders, the Lukes have worked as a team for over 40 years, accomplishing many great things and inspiring countless people. They continue to leave an incredibly positive mark on Wisconsin conservation through their efforts to protect and promote appreciation for the natural world.    

Check out more photos from past Awards Celebrations:

Click here to find out more about our past award winners.



A special thank you to our generous sponsors...

Business & Organization Sponsors

Lead Sponsors










Community Shares of Wisconsin*
E.C. Styberg Foundation
tafford Rosenbaum LLP
Wheeler, Van Sickle & Anderson, S.C.*
Wisconsin Wetlands Association


1000 Friends of Wisconsin*
American Farmland Trust
Conservation Consulting Group
Dane County Conservation League*
Development for Conservation LLC*
Law Office of Peter E. McKeever, LLC*
Madison Audubon Society*
Martin Schreiber & Associates, Inc.
Montgomery Associates: Resource Solutions, LLC*
River Alliance of Wisconsin*
St. Croix River Association
The Ridges Sanctuary
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

Individual Sponsors


Tom & Carol Ehrsam


Howard & Nancy Mead
Michael Briselli & Jeannee Sacken
Richard & Laurel Steffes*
Trish Stocking+


Todd Ambs and Beth Wentzel*
Bill & Katherine Biersach+
Fred Clark & Kerry Schumann
Althea & Bryan Dotzour*
Tony Earl & Jane Nemke Earl
Herman Felstehausen & Geke de Vries*
Bob & Barbara Fisher
Sharon & Warren Gaskill*
Kimberly Gleffe & Dean Eggert
John & Cate Harrington
Randy & JoAnn Hoffman
Ann Jablonski
Dale & Susan Katsma
Terrence Knudsen
Bob & Penny Leder
Roma Lenehan*
James & Susan Lundberg*
Bill Lunney & Judie Pfeifer*
James Matson & Beth Robinson
Terrence & Barbara McCormick
Jean & Walter A. Meanwell*
Richard Phelps
Bob Retko & Kay Wienke+
Gene & Jean Roark*
James & Martha Schuh
Carl & Barbara Schwartz
Michael & Molly Strigel*
Roy & Mary Thilly*
Marjie Tomter
Donald Waller
Jim Welsh & Kevin Lee+
Jane Wiley & Will Allmandinger
Carla Wright
Jan Zimmermann+

* indicates sponsor for 5 years or more
+ indicates sponsor for 10 years or more


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