The National Audubon Society has honored Sangre de Cristo Audubon Society’s Tom Jervis as the 2012 Charles H. Callison Award winner in the volunteer category and Audubon California’s Dan Taylor as the Charles H. Callison Award winner in the staff category. The award was announced Sept. 28 at the National Audubon Society board meeting in Tucson, Ariz.
Now in their 18th year, Audubon’s Callison Awards recognize one volunteer and one staff member, nominated by their peers, who have made remarkable contributions to conservation through coalition-building, creative thinking, and perseverance.
During the awards ceremony, Tom Jervis was recognized for his “dedicated service and major contributions to the goals of Audubon; his unflagging dedication as a volunteer and supporter at the chapter, center, council, and state levels; his decades-long work to protect New Mexico’s most threatened wildlife and to preserve critical habitats; and his passionate commitment to the cause of conservation locally and throughout the hemisphere.”
An Audubon member for 40 years, Tom is currently serving in his fourth term as president of the Sangre de Cristo Audubon Society, a local chapter of the National Audubon Society. Also a steadfast leader of the state Audubon efforts, he served three terms as president of the New Mexico Audubon Council. Tom also served two terms as Chairman of Audubon New Mexico’s board of directors and was an early leader behind the acquisition of the Randall Davey Audubon Center and Sanctuary (on a 135-acre preserve) on the site of artist Randall Davey’s home and studio in Santa Fe, N.M.
Since the 1980s Tom has worked as an advocate for both wildlife and habitat in New Mexico. He helped to pass a bill to protect reptiles and amphibians from commercial collecting, has campaigned for protection of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken, and has worked for many years on a task force to achieve solutions for elk management with landowners, sportsmen, and conservationists.
Tom has also worked long term to enhance habitat in southwestern forests. He helped draft the U.S. Forest Service’s Collaborative Forest Restoration Program and serves on the technical advisory committee to disperse grants for projects in New Mexico. And he is an integral player in achieving protection for the Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains.
“Tom Jervis has worked tirelessly to protect the birds and wildlife of the Southwest, with a fiery love for Audubon,” said National Audubon Society President and CEO David Yarnold. “The wildlife and wild places of New Mexico are in your debt.”
Dan Taylor has served as Audubon’s western regional representative, executive director of Audubon California, vice president for field support, and since 2007, as California director of policy and government relations.
“Many years ago Charles Callison laid the groundwork for the modern National Audubon Society that is built on grassroots strength and networked effectiveness – so to be honored in that light is quite an honor,” said Taylor. “I’ve been thrilled over the years to work with so many dedicated people here at Audubon, and it’s humbling to be counted among them.”
Taylor’s extensive knowledge of the West’s many conservation issues has enabled him to step into a number of different roles, deliver in every one of them, and become the face of some of our most important conservation victories in the West.
He has won victories on behalf of old growth forests and the Northern Spotted Owl and Marbled Murrelet. Taylor was at the heart of National Audubon Society’s campaign to save Mono Lake, which halted decades of harmful water diversions, and has spoken out against offshore drilling. He also advocated effectively in support of the Endangered Species Act, thereby protecting one of our nation’s most important tools for defending wildlife. He has successfully fought to protect wildlife from the dangers of lead pollution and poaching, and has emerged as a strong voice for Bay-Delta water policy reform.
“Through his calm demeanor, good judgment and deep understanding of conservation at every level, Dan has genuinely been the voice of the birds in Sacramento,” said National Audubon Society President and CEO David Yarnold.
Charles H. Callison served with National Audubon Society from 1960 to 1977. An eminent conservationist, he was instrumental in Audubon’s fight to pass the Wilderness Act of 1964, including the Clean Air and Water acts, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act. A firm believer in the strength of the grassroots, he expanded the reach of Audubon by chartering and supporting hundreds of new chapters nationwide.