Photo: Wasim Muklashy.

Deschutes Land Trust Names Volunteers of the Year

Nov 04, 2011 by , Sarah Mowry
Sisters photographer Byron Dudley receives a Lifetime Achievement Award, Mary Crow and Sherry Steele are honored as Volunteers of the Year.

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The Deschutes Land Trust presented three Sisters-area residents Volunteer of the Year Awards at its annual Open House on November 3. Sisters photographer Byron Dudley received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work photographing the Land Trust’s protected lands. Volunteer naturalist Mary Crow and fly tyer Sherry Steele were honored as Volunteers of the Year.

Byron Dudley has been photographing Land Trust protected lands for a decade. His amazing work helped tell the story of some of the Land Trust’s earliest projects—Alder Springs, Camp Polk Meadow and the Metolius Preserve. Ten years later, Byron is still willing and ready to get out and capture the next new project or recast our first in new light. Byron was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize his continued dedication to creating amazing photographs for the Deschutes Land Trust.   

“I appreciate the opportunity to be a volunteer photographer for the Deschutes Land Trust,” said Dudley. “The stunning view of the Cascades across the wide meadows of the Indian Ford Preserve will always be for me, in every season, a view of home, a sense of place, thanks to the vision and work of the Deschutes Land Trust.”

Mary Crow has been a Land Trust volunteer since 2006. “Mary is one of a handful of core volunteers who make the Land Trust’s Walk + Hike Program possible. We simply couldn’t offer such outstanding options for exploring our protected lands without her,” said Sarah Mowry, the Land Trust’s outreach manager.

Mary enjoys leading longer hikes that explore the far flung corners of Rimrock Ranch or Whychus Canyon Preserve, but she is equally at home helping document wildflowers or monitoring fences for the Whcyhus Creek restoration. “Volunteering for the Land Trust is the best job I’ve ever had! Where else could I pursue my passion for hiking, while reminding others it’s up to them to take care of our Northwest paradise?” said Mary. Mary was presented with the 2011 Volunteer of the Year award.

Sherry Steele became involved with the Land Trust last year when she learned of the Land Trust’s campaign to purchase Whychus Canyon Preserve. An avid fly fisher and fly tyer, Sherry immediately volunteered to see how she could help ensure the prime steelhead habitat at the Preserve would be protected.

Hundreds of hours later, she helped spread the word about the campaign by designing and tying the Whychus Canyon Steelhead Fly.  “The Land Trust was so lucky to have an artist like Sherry to help with the Campaign. She not only tied hundreds of flies herself, but she also organized other tyers and rallied the fishing community,” said the Land Trust’s executive director Brad Chalfant. Sherry was presented with the 2011 Volunteer of the Year award.

Volunteers donated more than 5,700 hours to the Deschutes Land Trust during the past year. The Land Trust is truly indebted to the community of volunteers who support land conservation in Central Oregon. Congratulations to Byron, Mary and Sherry for their outstanding contributions!