I was making a final check of my e-mail at work about noon today, on my way out the door to go to a doctor's appointment, when I received a message titled, ambiguously, "Fw: Cooperative Conservation Awards Ceremony." The message had been forwarded three times before it got to me, with discussion about "who's going to attend?" and "who's going to pay for it?" My curiosity rising, I finally reached the original message, which reads in part as follows:
"As we discussed last week, I am in the process of sending out letters to the recipients of the Cooperative Conservation Awards. I need to know who the recipients are who will be attending the ceremony. The ceremony will be held on April 21, 2008, at 3:00 pm in the Main Interior Building. There will be a reception following the ceremony. There will also be a two-day workshop on April 22 and 23, 2008 for the recipients. The workshop will feature award winners sharing their experiences. Each recipient will give a 10 minute presentation and a chance to answer questions about their projects. I need project pictures (at least 15) from each project. We also need the correct spelling of the names of each recipient. Listed are the spelling of the names that will go on the certificates. If there are any changes, please let me know.
"I also need to know the name of the individual who will be accepting the award from the Secretary. Everyone that attends may go up on stage, however, only one will speak for the group and accept the award."
The names listed below the e-mail are:
National Park of American Samoa, National Park Service
- Tavita Togia
Mount Rainier Initiative
Student Conservation Association
- Jill Baum
- David Critton
- Willie Ehrenclou
- Jay Satz
Mount Rainier National Park, National Park Service
- Kevin Bacher
- Randy King
- Dave Uberuaga
- Gina Ottoboni
National Parks Conservation Association
- Sean Smith
Washington's National Park Fund
- Eleanor Kittelson
Washington Trails Association
- Lauren Braden
So, I haven't gotten the official letter yet, but it's clear that our volunteer program--in partnership with the Student Conservation Association and the Northwest Parks and Public Lands Storm Recovery Coalition--has been selected to receive one of the Department of Interior's prestigious Cooperative Conservation Award! "Everyone that attends may go up on stage," says the e-mail. I'm sure they're referring to the members of our coalition... but they're just representatives of the 1,724 people who actually volunteered their time on the ground in the park, of course. Can you imagine 1,724 people coming up on stage to accept an award from the Secretary of the Interior?!
Whoever ends up having that honor will do so, explictly, on your behalf.
By the way, the timing of this is really good. The Student Conservation Association is already hosting a Conservation Summit in Washington D.C. from April 24 to 27, called "Earth Vision: Actions for a Healthy Planet." Many of us are already planning to attend. From there, it's just a short hop across the Mall to the Interior Building...