Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jason Pyron wins "Sense of Wonder" award!

Over 60 years ago, iconic naturalist Rachel Carson developed an idea now known as "sense of wonder." The concept behind this phrase focused on adults fostering an appreciation for the natural world within youth. To preserve the legacy of Carson's inspiring ideas, the U.S. Fish &Wildlife National Conservation Training Center awards one employee annually with the "Sense of Wonder" award. This award, inspired by Carson's original goal, is given to one Service employee as recognition of an outstanding project that connects people with nature and nurtures the public's stewardship of their natural resources. This year, the award went to the Pacific Region's own Jason Pyron of the Idaho Fish & Wildlife Office.
His project, "Sage Grouse in the Schools" (read more about the project in our past blog entry here) helped connect local landowners and high school students. Students made visits to local ranches aiding in activities like fence flagging and habitat reseeding. Through the project, students were able to reconnect with nature while lending a hand at habitat improvement project implementation. 

From NCTC: "In this program, Jason has worked to bring youth, local land owners and ranchers, state and federal land managers, NGOs, and schools together to enhance western sagebrush-steppe habitat and sage-grouse understanding in local communities. He believes that getting students outdoors, connecting them to nature, and giving them the tools they need to make informed decisions about land and land management is one of our agency’s most important responsibilities. 
At the heart of Jason's program success is his recognition that partnerships are foundational to strong conservation education, regardless of the issues, and youth and local community involvement are the key. Jason excels at developing positive working relationships with State and Federal government agencies, private landowners, NGOs, schools and other stakeholders."

Check out an excellent video about the program on our Connecting People with Nature Facebook page HERE!
We want to send a warm congratulations to Jason for creating such an inspiring project! Join us in sending our biggest thanks! Below we've provided photos and videos recapping Jason's sage grouse project - please view, enjoy and share with your friends!