Five local conservationists to be honored Thursday

This year’s standouts in Missoula-area conservation work will be honored this week by those who came before them. 

The Missoula Conservation Roundtable will bestow its annual honors in the form of five awards presented during an awards picnic at the Fort Missoula Regional Park this Thursday evening. The organization, which has been recognizing Missoula-area conservationists since 1995, announced this year’s recipients in June. Recipients will be recognized in the categories of long-term conservation work, professional conservation work, volunteer work in the past year, lifelong conservation work and emerging leadership in conservation. Prior award winners select each year’s new honorees. 

The Don Aldrich Award, recognizing volunteer or professional conservation work over many years, will go to Len Broberg, a professor at University of Montana. Aldrich, the award’s eponym, was a longtime Montana Power Company employee who took his conservation work professional when he became executive secretary of the Montana Wildlife Federation upon his retirement in 1969. Aldrich was the first conservationist to win the Missoula Chamber of Commerce’s Ray T. Rocene Sportsman of the Year Award, in 1967. That award, named after a longtime Missoulian sportswriter who included outdoor recreation and conservation in his coverage, evolved decades later into the standalone Missoula Conservation Roundtable. 

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