Presenting the 2020 Volunteer Awards
It’s the time of year to honor our volunteers who have gone above and beyond
On Oct. 24, we announced the winners of our annual volunteer awards at Virtual WildFest, which is a little different from how we usually honor our volunteers.
While we couldn’t be together in person this year at our annual volunteer awards dinner, we enjoyed seeing your faces virtually and chatting with those of you who joined us for our happy half hour following the event!
If you weren’t able to join us, I’m proud to share the recipients of the 2020 Monumental Award, Brass Lanterns, Keep It Wild Award, Founders Award, and the Trail Crew Volunteer of the Year award. These winners have all played a major role in standing up for Montana’s wild public lands, and they each deserve our heartfelt thanks.
The Monumental Award was established to honor people who help secure monumental wins for wild places in Montana.
Tim Preso, EarthJustice
Tim has led many of MWA’s legal strategies for the last two decades. He’s been instrumental in the defense of hundreds of thousands of acres of wild public lands, from national forests to wilderness study areas to the Badger-Two Medicine, and has played a key role in protecting and shaping the wild Montana we love.
Trail Crew Volunteer of the Year
Every year, we give this award to a volunteer who is generous with their time and represents the values of our trail stewardship program.
Julie is a passionate and multi-talented volunteer who served on three Volunteer rail Crew projects and wilderness study area character monitoring outings in 2020. The lively spirit, dedication, and insatiable curiosity she brought to every project made her a world-class volunteer.
Brass Lantern Awards
The Brass Lantern Awards are given to members and non-members alike in recognition of their leadership and action to promote Wilderness and wildlands protection.
H. Wayne Phillips – Great Falls
Wayne is a long-time member and has tirelessly led outdoor adventures to educate folks about Montana’s wild places and turn them into wilderness advocates.
Roger Gordon – Butte
Roger has been a Southwest Wildlands Chapter board member since the chapter’s inception in 2016 and a tireless volunteer on stewardship projects along the Continental Divide.
Bret Luedke – Whitefish
Bret is a dedicated board member and former president of the Flathead-Kootenai Chapter. He’s made valuable contributions to the Chapter Collaborative, trail stewardship, and Flathead forest planning efforts.
Susie McDonald – Bozeman
Susie is an active supporter of Madison-Gallatin Chapter events, has spent more than eight years as the editor of the chapter’s quarterly newsletter, and led numerous Wilderness Walks over the years.
Roger Otstot – Billings
Roger is president of the Eastern Wildlands Chapter, has spent numerous hours on Volunteer Trail Crew projects, and is always the first to lead a Wilderness Walk, join a committee, or write a letter to the editor.
Monte Turner – Superior
Monte is a tireless volunteer and organizer of the Healthy, Happy Hikers group that
benefits the citizens of Mineral County and builds invaluable support for public lands in western Montana.
(Monte, pictured in the back wearing sunglasses.)
Ray Brown –- Helena
Ray is president of the Wild Divide Chapter and has provided positive and thoughtful leadership and organizing skills while helping the board develop a chapter operations plan to align with MWA’s overarching strategic plan.
Keep It Wild Award
The Keep it Wild Award recognizes a young person or group who has exemplified outstanding dedication to the mission of MWA throughout the past year.
Amy Katz – Missoula
Amy is a Shining Mountains Chapter board member and an extraordinary events committee chair. Her ideas are always creative and plentiful, and she’s always willing to put time and energy into making chapter events a success.
The Founders Award recognizes the person who best exemplifies outstanding and enduring dedication to the cause of wilderness and the mission of Montana Wilderness Association.
Lee Boman – Missoula
Lee was the president of the MWA State Council in 2015 and 2016 and of the Shining Mountains Chapter from 2018 to 2020. He’s led countless folks on hikes in the Swan Range, organized a massive event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, and played a critical role in advocating for the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, even traveling to Washington D.C. to speak on behalf of the bill.
It’s impossible to quantify what Lee has done for Montana’s wild places, and he’s incredibly deserving of this award.
Volunteers, thank you for all that you do. You inspire us every day, and you’re such an important part of the movement to keep it wild.
Laura is responsible for managing human resources and business operations for the organization. As a native Montanan, she enjoys exploring our great state with her husband, two kids, and two dogs.