Nonprofits, Companies and Land Management Agency Staff Recognized at 2021 Public Lands Alliance Partnership Awards Virtual Celebration

By Public Lands Alliance Staff posted 05-24-2021 06:27 PM



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) has announced the recipients of its 2021 Partnership Awards that celebrate the best in public lands partnerships. These awards honor individuals, organizations, publications, products, programs and services that embody leading edge achievements in the preservation of public lands and the enrichment the visitor experience.

The 2021 award winners were announced on Monday, May 24 in a virtual celebration. The awards program is sponsored by Impact Photographics.

While awards are typically given in six categories, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PLA offered a condensed awards program in 2021, focusing on nominations honoring individuals and organizations that are key to successful and vibrant public lands partnerships.

A total of nine awards were presented to individuals, organizations and companies in three categories:

  • Public Lands Partner Award

  • Corporate Stewardship Award

  • Agency Leadership Award

"This year’s submissions were diverse and extraordinary,” said Dan Puskar, President and CEO of PLA. “Our community really does incredible things every single year, and especially this year during the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it has created”

Here is a complete list of the 2021 Partnership Award winners: (Photos available upon request)

Public Lands Partner Award

The Public Lands Partner Award recognizes an exemplary partnership for its stunning achievements to protect and preserve public lands and enhance the experiences of visitors. The award is presented to both the nonprofit organization and its agency partner for their shared achievements.

The following organizations and their agency partners received the 2021 Public Lands Partner Award:

  • Friends of Red River Gorge & Daniel Boone National Forest, Cumberland District (U.S. Forest Service)

  • Alaska Geographic & Lake Clark National Park & Preserve (National Park Service)

  • New River Alliance of Climbers & Summersville Lake (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

  • Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge & Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Corporate Stewardship Award

The Corporate Stewardship Award recognizes a company that has demonstrated exceptional achievement to enhance the quality of the visitor experience in America's public lands.

The following companies received the Corporate Stewardship Award on behalf of their philanthropic and partnership efforts with public lands nonprofits:

  • The North Face, for their partnership with the National Park Foundation

  •, a division of The Annenberg Foundation, for their partnership with Katmai Conservancy

Agency Leadership Award

The Agency Leadership Award recognizes a land management agency employee for outstanding accomplishments in championing, cultivating and leading a partnership.

These individuals were presented with the Agency Leadership Award:

  • Cassius M. Cash, Superintendent with Great Smoky Mountains National Park, National Park Service (partnership with Great Smoky Mountains Association)

  • Scott Miller, Aquatic Ecologist with National Aquatic Monitoring Center, Bureau of Land Management (partnership with Adventure Scientists)

  • Richard Cronn, Research Geneticist with Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service (partnership with Adventure Scientists)

For additional details on the individual award recipients, contact the Public Lands Alliance.


About the Public Lands Alliance

The Public Lands Alliance is a network of more than 170 member organizations that serve more than 650 public lands and contribute over $250 million dollars annually to the preservation and visitor enhancement of those lands. PLA members are found in all states and territories and provide operational and interpretive support to nonprofit organizations and their land management agency partners.