Bren Haase, Chief of the Planning and Research Division for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), has been selected to receive the Governor’s Award – Conservationist of the Year for 2017 for his leadership and professionalism in the development of Louisiana’s 2017 Coastal Master Plan, which culminated in the unanimous adoption of the plan by the Louisiana Legislature.
The award, a handsome statuette of a bald eagle, will be presented the evening of Saturday, March 17, 2018 at a festive banquet to be held at Boudreaux’s in Baton Rouge. The public is invited to attend and can purchase banquet tickets online at lawildlifefed.org.
The Governor’s Award is presented annually to the person, business or organization deemed to have made the most outstanding contribution toward the protection, wise use and enjoyment of Louisiana’s natural resources among nominees submitted by the public. The selection for this and five other awards was made by a panel of independent judges with expertise in a wide range of conservation fields. The 54th Annual Governor’s State Conservation Achievement Awards program is hosted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and the awards are presented jointly witt the National Wildlife Federation. This year’s emcee is Dr. Paul Coreil, retired Interim Chancellor of LSU of Alexandria and past Vice Chancellor of the LSU Agricultural Center and Director of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service.
Haase served as planning leader for a large multidisciplinary team of more than 250 scientists, engineers, and various stakeholders to produce the 2017 update to the State’s Coastal Master Plan. Rebecca Triche, executive director for Louisiana Wildlife Federation, said, “Bren Haase is being commended for his professionalism in guiding a multi-year planning process and conveying the complexities of the plan to the public while consistently demonstrating his willingness to cultivate, understand and respond to stakeholders. While serving in this visible public role, Haase demonstrated positive collegiality in his leadership and a remarkable ability to assimilate detailed technical information and input at every point of engagement that kept this complex planning process moving forward.”
Two other individuals and three organizations will also be recognized by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation for their outstanding conservation achievements in 2017. They are:
Edward Bodker of Pontchatoula – For his years of volunteer work to advise the public and regulatory agencies about the problems associated with wetland assimilation projects and the application of secondarily treated sewage effluent on natural wetlands, which culminated in increased scrutiny and advocacy in 2017; and for his community activism to increase public awareness of a proposed battery graphite manufacturing plant at the Port of Manchac.
Nova Clarke of Monroe – For her environmental education programming as park ranger at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge and outreach work in the community, including working with volunteers to expand off-site educational programs that encourage non-traditional users to enjoy the Refuge.
Red River National Wildlife Refuge Youth Conservation Corps of Bossier City – For offering high school students the opportunity to develop leadership skills, conservation ethics, and natural resource management skills through a summer program; and to recognize Jonathan Aldama, Katie Black, Sage Beleau and Tyler Campbell for their work in 2017 as Corps members in addressing invasive species, collecting biological data, and providing leadership to 120 youth attending the Refuge’s summer camps.
Louisiana Public Square “Coastal Restoration: The Next Wave” produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting – For its use of the town meeting format to present important concepts, diverse opinions and technical expertise about Louisiana’s coastal restoration efforts in 2017; and the use of multiple media tools to educate the public and solicit public participation.
SouthWings, a nonprofit headquartered in North Carolina with a satellite office in New Orleans – For their network of volunteers who flew 60 flights in Louisiana in 2017 to help visually display the disappearing Mississippi River delta from the air and educate local and national decision makers, scientists, and media about the need for coastal restoration. Volunteers also helped with the transport of endangered whooping cranes to Louisiana.
This year’s banquet sponsors are Mary A. Van Kerrebrook; Barney Callahan; Warren & Jodie Singer; Volks Constructors; Walters and Associates; Cancienne Law Firm; Delacroix Corp.; East Ascension Sportsman’s League; Harlan Law Firm; Marsh Dog, LLC; Rapides Wildlife Association; Daryl and Monica Rousse; and Bob and Norma Stewart.
The Louisiana Wildlife Federation is a statewide conservation education and advocacy organization. Established in 1940, it is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation and represents a broad constituency of conservationists including hunters, anglers, campers, birders, boaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts.