2009 Hall of Fame Award: Dawn Olson (Oregon)
The Izaak Walton League of America presented Dawn Olson of Silverton, Oregon, with its prestigious National Hall of Fame Award. Olson received the award at the League’s annual convention in July 2010 in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the conservation of America’s natural and renewable resources.
Dawn Olson is a member of the Izaak Walton League’s Executive Board. She serves as Board’s Chapter Relations Subcommittee chair and previously served as the Financial Assessment Team Subcommittee chair. She is also the Executive Board representative on the League’s National Conservation Scholarship Review Committee.
Olson was active in the development and adoption of state management plans for Rocky Mountain and Roosevelt elk, mule deer, and black-tailed deer and the development and adoption of Oregon Administrative Rules to govern the private ownership of deer and elk. She worked with the Silverton school system to develop coloring books and essay writing programs to teach natural resource conservation principles to grade school students. She also worked with the Silverton community on to institute a free fishing day, an Earth Day event, and a semi-annual cleanup of litter and debris along Silver Creek.
Olson’s conservation work reaches beyond state boundaries. She has been involved with management of federal lands within Oregon and Idaho, including Bureau of Land Management and National Forest management plans; grazing of privately owned livestock, including cattle, sheep, and horses; travel management of off-highway vehicles; land trades between federal land management agencies and private land owners; and the changing of a federally designated wilderness boundary, which created a situation that was detrimental to wildlife.
“Dawn’s support, which required her to write responses to many varied natural resource issues, has had a positive impact on public land management of more than 5 million acres,” says Monty Montgomery, former chairman of the Public Land Restoration Task Force. He worked along side Olson on public land issues, grazing, timber harvest, and land exchanges (both public and private) – and spent many hours with her constructing fences to protect critical habitat along riparian areas and removing fencing no longer needed for grazing management.
In addition to her work with the League, Olson worked with Silverton community leaders to establish the Gardens at Oregon Garden – more than 20 specialty gardens and features that promote ecologically and environmentally proven conservation methods – that has become a popular tourist attraction.
(Pictured in photo: Roger Sears, IWLA Executive Board Chairman, presents Dawn Olson with the 2009 Hall of Fame Award)