Mike Conlin explains

Mike Conlin, facilitator of Lake County Open Space Initiative, explains riparian remediation efforts along the Arkansas River last year. Conlin is the recipient of this year’s Doc Smith Leaders in Conservation Award.

Mike Conlin, facilitator for the Lake County Open Space Initiative (LCOSI), was named the 2020 Doc Smith Leaders in Conservation Award recipient and was presented the award at the group’s September 10 meeting.

Those who spoke at the virtual award ceremony, held remotely due to pandemic restrictions, spoke of Conlin’s commitment and skill in working with LCOSI to help preserve the Upper Arkansas River basin. Participants highlighted Conlin’s ability to collaborate with different organizations in bringing projects to fruition.

“Mike really is the glue that held us all together,” LCOSI member Rob White said.

Conlin, who has been with the organization since it began 23 years ago, was selected for the award based on his achievements and work with LCOSI including his efforts in establishing the Mineral Belt Trail, the recreation area at Hayden Meadows and the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway.

Upon receiving the award, Conlin thanked his family and peers for the recognition and the effort they have put in.

“I’m very proud to have been a small part of what we have been able to do within this community,” Conlin said.

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