VCE’s holiday gathering at the Norwich Inn on December 6 featured an extra twist this year, as our very own Kent McFarland received the 2016 Sally Laughlin Award for the Conservation of Endangered and Threatened Species. This brand new award from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) “recognizes individuals who have advanced the knowledge, understanding and conservation of endangered and threatened species and their habitats in Vermont.” Deb Markowitz, Secretary of ANR, presented the award to Kent, flanked by Vermont Endangered Species Committee (ESC) Chair Dorothy Allard and Vice-chair Jim Shallow. In a wonderful bit of serendipity, VCE Advisory Council member Sally Laughlin, founder and longtime chair (32 years!) of the ESC, whose extraordinary dedication to wildlife conservation in Vermont inspired the award, was with us to share the moment.
This award brings extremely well-deserved recognition to Kent, who is known far and wide to wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists within (and outside of) Vermont, in part for his role as co-host with Sara Zahendra of VPR’s immensely popular monthly Outdoor Radio program. ANR’s award letter to Kent neatly summarizes their rationale for selecting him (it was, by all accounts, a slam dunk decision!): “The Endangered Species Committee believes that your work as chair of the Invertebrate Scientific Advisory Committee and your tireless efforts to share your enthusiasm and knowledge of our natural world with all Vermonters is helping advance the work of the Endangered Species Committee. In addition, your work to gather the data and develop the nominations for the now-listed bumble bees has put Vermont at the forefront of recognizing and addressing the threats to all of our vital pollinators.”
So, hats off and heartfelt kudos to Kent, aka Kapt. Krummholz, for his extraordinary work to advance conservation of vulnerable wildlife in Vermont, and beyond. He is a vital cog in the VCE engine, a dynamic colleague and friend, and a passionate naturalist. Turns out he’s a pretty darn good photographer too. Congratulations, Kent — keep it up!