INDIANAPOLIS -- The Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) was among eight recipients of conservation awards Saturday, May 19.
The setting was the Indiana Wildlife Federation's (IWF) annual Conservation Awards Banquet at Spring Mill State Park.
Gov. Mitch Daniels led the list of award winners that included a state senator, a coalition of government agencies and other conservation advocates.
All of this year's winners pursue common goals to improve Indiana's environment and make the state a better place for wildlife.
Any IWF member can nominate an individual or group for an award, and IWF's directors select winners from the pool of nominees.
The 2012 Indiana Wildlife Federation Conservation Award winners included:
* Daniels, who received the Theodore Roosevelt Award for his "dedication to conservation as demonstrated by large-scale projects such as the Goose Pond acquisition, Healthy Rivers Initiative, and Bicentennial Nature Trust,
* Sen. David Long, Fort Wayne, received the Legislative Conservationist of the Year Award for his work to stop legislation that would have allowed canned hunting in Indiana,
* Angela Hughes, government relations associate for the Nature Conservancy, earned the Conservation Communicator of the Year Award for her work leading the Indiana Conservation Alliance and Conservation Day at the State House every year,
* Jack Corpuz, Indianapolis, received the Theodore Roosevelt Award for his years of work with state officials to improve Indiana's hunting and fishing license programs, which generate revenue for conservation programs,
* Jeanette Wilson, Indiana Department of Transportation, received the President's Award, a prize given at the discretion of IWF's president. Wilson has been instrumental in supporting efforts to reduce mowing and increase native plant species on Indiana's roadsides, practices that save the state money and helps wildlife,
* Nicole Messacar, who received the Conservation Educator of the Year Award. Messacar teaches children about wildlife and conservation issues through her role as Education Coordinator for the LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District,
* North Dearborn Conservation Club won the IWF Conservation Club of the Year. The club has educated local youth about safe hunting practices since 1937, and
* Phil Cox, this year's Paul Bunner Conservationist of the Year Award winner, worked tirelessly to several hundred acres of prairie at the Newport Army Depot.
His work fostered the return of several state-endangered grassland bird species and other rare wildlife species.