Missoula County Commissioners are pleased to announce Mark Vander Meer as the recipient of the 2017 Land Stewardship Award. He will receive the award at a ceremony on Thursday, July 6, at 1:30 p.m. at one of his forest management project sites in the Gold Creek area. The ceremony will include a short tour led by Mr. Vander Meer.
“Historically, I thought of Mark as somewhat of an enigma, a logger, a forester and yet an environmentalist,” said Tom DeLuca, dean of the W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation at the University of Montana. “Now, looking back, I see him as less of an enigma and more of a glimpse into the future. Forestry is about to turn the corner from being cast as part of the extraction industry to leaders in the environmental field, Mark will be there leading the way.”
Vander Meer has been an integral part of land restoration for many projects on federal, state, county, city and private land. He is a champion of natural resource restoration and soil health. Mark not only practices stewardship through helping others with their land and his job but also utilizes his skills on his own land. Additionally, he has been committed to stewardship on a larger scale, through volunteering his time for workshops, lectures and assisting in planting riparian species along Pattee Creek. He is always willing to take on the next project or challenge.
The Land Stewardship Award recognizes landowners and residents who take stewardship of land and water seriously and embark on projects and practices that make a difference for land, water, forests, wildlife and communities. Missoula County, with the leadership of the County’s Open Lands Citizen Advisory Committee, would like to thank these outstanding stewards and learn from them through the annual Land Stewardship Award Program.
For more information about previous award recipients, check out the new online story map.