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Oak Tree Ball honors local conservationists


By: Bear Yuba Land Trust

Nevada County, Calif. April 8, 2013 – Bear Yuba Land Trust invites the community to celebrate conservation and trails with an evening of fine food and drink, live music and an awards ceremony honoring three local leaders during the Fourth Annual Oak Tree Ball.

This Celebration Dinner and Awards Ceremony will be held April 27, 2013 at the Alta Sierra Country Club, 11897 Tammy Way in Grass Valley. The Oak Tree Ball is a "festive formal attire" event and an opportunity to celebrate the people and landscapes of the Sierra Nevada foothills.

During the event, Elizabeth "Izzy" Martin, Hank Meals and Greg Archbald will be recognized for their years of work dedicated to conservation leadership, outdoor education and volunteerism.

Elizabeth "Izzy" Martin, The Sierra Fund C.E.O. will be recognized with the William Nickerl Award for Conservation Leadership. William "Bill" Nickerl devoted his life to land conservation in the California foothills. The award is given to Nevada County residents with a similar conservation ethic who inspire others to build a connection with the land.

Izzy Martin
Besides Nickerl, past award recipients include: Geri Bergen former Forest Supervisor at the Tahoe National Forest, long-time community and agricultural supporter John Taylor, and Naturalist and Father of the Independence Trail John Olmsted. In 2012, local conservation leader and land use planner Andy Cassano received the award.

For 30 years, Elizabeth "Izzy" Martin has been a leader in environmental advocacy and community organizing. She served as a Nevada County Planning Commissioner and later County Supervisor and led the fight to put the South Yuba River into the state's Wild and Scenic river program.

In 2004, Martin worked with Assemblymen John Laird and Tim Leslie to establish Sierra Nevada Conservancy. That same year, she took the helm at The Sierra Fund where she has helped secure millions in state funds for conservation in the Sierra Nevada, including the most recent Bear Yuba Land Trust acquisition of Rice's Crossing.

This year, two locals with a commitment to the outdoors will receive an award new to the Land Trust in honor of the late John Skinner. Skinner was a former Forest Supervisor for the Tahoe National Forest. After retirement, he followed his passion for hiking and trails through his writing of the popular book and online publication, Sierra Outdoors Recreation. He died in 2009.

Greg Archbald
Hank MEals
Hank Meals, local archaeologist, writer and photographer will receive the John Skinner Sierra Outdoors Recreation Award for Education.

For a span of 25 years, Meals worked off and on as an archeologist for the Tahoe National Forest. He is the author of several books about trails: The River: Hiking Trails and History of the South Fork of the Yuba River and Yuba Trails 1 and 2 and is currently co-authoring a book about the Nisenan people.

Meals began leading hikes for Bear Yuba Land Trust more than 20 years ago and his knowledge of local history and trails remain popular draws.

Greg Archbald will receive the John Skinner Sierra Outdoors Recreation Award for Volunteerism. As an environmental attorney Archbald helped stop development in Mineral King and the Marin and Sonoma coasts. He co-founded the Trust for Public Land with Huey Johnson in 1972 and started natural resource stewardship programs at the Golden Gate National Parks.

For several years, Archbald has volunteered his time developing an online trails portal for Bear Yuba Land Trust with photographs, writing and GPS mapping, the first comprehensive site of its kind in the region.

Throughout the evening Leta's Blues will perform live music for dancing until 10 p.m. The cost is $150 per couple, $75 per person and $600 per table. To RSVP contact Jean Gilbert at (530) 272-5994 ext. 205.

For more information visit: www.bylt.org


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