The Lake County Open Space Initiative will once again be accepting nominations for the annual Doc Smith Leaders in Conservation Award.

The award will recognize an individual who has helped to promote best-management practices and conservation of the land and water resources of the Upper Arkansas River basin in Lake County. Previous recipients are Mike Holmes (2016), Laura Archuleta (2017), and Greg Brunjak (2018).

The honoree’s efforts may include contributions in the general areas of land stewardship and conservation; partnership-building and collaboration; protection and enhancement of landscape and watershed health; and environmental leadership.

Emphasis will be placed on the personal traits that Doc Smith is said to have displayed on a daily basis: integrity, tenacity, perseverance and commitment to the valley’s resources; leadership through determination; and a willingness to take personal risks for the benefit the community. The impact of the individual’s accomplishments and respect achieved within the natural resource/conservation community of the upper Arkansas River Valley will also be factored into the decision.

An individual nominated for the award need not be a resident of Lake County, but must have had a direct and positive impact on the conservation and/or enhancement of the land and water resources of the upper Arkansas River basin in Lake County.

Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the nomination process.

Nominations should include a thorough description of why the individual is being nominated as well as any testimonials or letters of recommendation.

Nominations opened on July 1 and should be forwarded to Laura Archuleta, 46525 Highway 114, Saguache, Colorado 81149 (or via email: Nominations will be open until 5 p.m. on Aug. 15. The Award Presentation will be held following the LCOSI meeting on September 15.

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