Mike Stevens

We at Lava Lake are thrilled that one of our great friends and fellow conservationists, John French, is one of four finalists nominated to be the 2009 Budweiser Conservationist of the Year. We urge you to vote for John!

John French

Before I came to Lava Lake in 2002, I worked for The Nature Conservancy of Idaho and spent a lot of my time focused on Silver Creek, an extraordinary spring-fed desert oasis that supports one of the West’s finest trout streams. In 2000, we had a huge opportunity to protect a 500-acre ranch that would complete over 10 miles of protected stream corridor and would be a landmark in the Conservancy’s 30-year history of work in the area. All we had to do was find a private buyer who cared about Silver Creek and this land as much as we did.

One spring day, I remember sitting with John and his wife Elaine on a hill overlooking the ranch and its beautiful stretch of Silver Creek. As we ate our sandwiches, John said he was committed and we embarked in a year-long series of negotiations with the owners that culminated in John and Elaine buying and donating a conservation easement on the ranch. In the years since, John has tirelessly worked to restore the habitat on the ranch. It is this sort of commitment and vision that makes conservation happen.

Silver Creek Morning

John has worked for decades on conservation issues, ranging from Idaho to Yosemite and he is an accomplished mountaineer and outdoorsman, as well as a veteran and superbly-skilled pilot. He brings tremendous energy, enthusiasm, and intelligence to all his endeavors and he has supported so many of us working in conservation. I can think of no more deserving person for this honor. I hope you will join me and all of us at Lava Lake in voting for John for the Budweiser Conservationist of the Year.

Photo of John French thanks to budweiser.com