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Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts presents awards at convention

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Sheridan – With a full agenda related to conservation topics and work going on around the state, the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts (WACD) took time to recognize those Wyomingites who have served the Association and improved conservation efforts across the state. 

Eight awards were presented during a Nov. 19 award ceremony in Sheridan.

Teacher of the Year

Newcastle High School’s Doug Scribner has been teaching for 13 years and was presented with WACD’s Teacher of the Year Award at their annual convention this year. 

“To say Doug is passionate about the subject matter would be putting it mildly,” said nominator Weston County Natural Resource District. “For the past several years, he has worked with the local conservation district to develop new subject matter and ways to apply what he teaches in his classroom to real-world natural resource issues.”

The science teacher has involved his students in a variety of experiments, from snow data collection to pine beetle and biofuel research. 

“Doug is a valuable educator and scientist who contributes to the advancement of science education and promotes education in the field of natural resources,” the District added.

Outstanding Cooperator

As Outstanding Cooperator, Dave and Deb Hutt of Buffalo Creek Ranch in Gillette were selected for the partnerships they have created and conservation work they have done.

“Buffalo Creek Ranch has benefitted from partnerships they have created with local, state and federal agencies and plans to continue those partnerships for the betterment and conservation of the natural resources on the ranch,” says Campbell County Conservation District, who nominated the Hutts. 

They further added that active cattle management coupled with innovative methods have increased pastures, stock water and water distribution on the ranch for many years.

Outstanding Conservationist

Nick Biltoft was presented with the Outstanding Conservationist Award for over 20 years working for conservation on the ground. Biltoft has worked as the district conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service for over 20 years.

Biltoft’s work with a variety of constituents, from the Lower Wind River Conservation District and Midvale Irrigation District to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, University of Wyoming Extension and local landowners, has contributed to the success of many projects. 

Outstanding Elected Official

Sweetwater County Commissioner Wally Johnson has supported the work of the Sweetwater County Conservation District for many years as a leader in natural resources, the community and the state. 

Sweetwater County Conservation District noted, “Whether it be mineral potential, wildlife, protecting roads and access, helping to protect and manage Wyoming’s water or his concern for our forests, Wally Johnson made significant contributions to a project the Sweetwater County Conservation District has been working on for many years.”

“Through his service and dedication, Johnson is a true representative of our public lands and keeping our ‘Wyoming Way of Life,’” they added.

Outstanding News Reporter

Heather Hamilton Maude, a freelance writer and sixth generation rancher from eastern Wyoming, received the Outstanding News Reporter Award. 

“Heather does a great job working for Wyoming,” said the Niobrara County Conservation District in their nomination. “She writes for many local, regional, national and international papers.”

Maude covers a variety of topics and also lobbies for Wyoming in Washington, D.C.

“She keeps folks up-to-date on how new regulations will effect Wyoming through her freelance writing and videos,” adds Niobrara County Conservation District.

Outstanding Technician

The 2014 Outstanding Technician Award was presented to Jeremy Dedic of Wyoming State Forestry for his work as an assistant district forester. 

“Jeremy is a valuable cooperator, educator and forester to both Crook and Weston Counties,” said the Crook County and Weston County Natural Resource Districts, who nominated Dedic. “He provides technical assistance to the districts, contributes to the advancement of forestry programs and promotes education in the field of natural resources.”

Outstanding Employee 

“In everything she does, Michelle Huntington gives 100 percent, and she is a valuable asset to the conservation district family,” said Converse County Conservation District in nominating Huntington for the Outstanding Employee award. “Michelle is always willing to lend a helping hand with any project.”

Huntington’s work with the Pathway to Water Quality and Living Legacy projects, as well as the Wyoming Natural Resource Foundation’s Chuck and Chip golf tournament are among Huntington’s many accomplishments.

She has also been a valuable component in a wide variety of projects in Converse County and around the state. 

Outstanding Supervisor

Crook County Natural Resource District’s Supervisor Wayne Garman received the Outstanding Supervisor Award at the 2014 WACD Annual Convention. 

“Wayne was appointed to the Crook County Natural Resource District in 1996 and then elected in 1998 and currently serves as chairman,” wrote nominators Crook County Natural Resource District and Lake DeSmet Conservation District. “Wayne strives to bring common sense, transparency and a conservative approach to local government.”

More award winners will be featured in next week’s Roundup. For more information on awards presented at the WACD annual convention, visit

Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at

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