AUGUSTA — The Natural Resources Council of Maine celebrated its 2020 Conservation Leadership Awards at a special online event on Oct. 22 that featured remarks from each awardee and a poem by Kristen Lindquist of Camden.

“This year’s award winners have done remarkable work to protect what we all love and value about Maine,” said CEO of the council Lisa Pohlmann, according to a news release by Maine’s leading environmental advocacy group. “Each of these individuals demonstrates the power of Mainers to make a difference by speaking up, organizing, and advocating for a better future.”

The four individuals honored by the council at the 2020 Conservation Leadership Awards were Aram Calhoun, Vaughan Woodruff, Cathy Johnson and Eric Sherman.

Aram Calhoun Contributed photo

Calhoun of Amherst was presented the Conservation Leadership Award for her expertise and leadership in the effort to protect Maine’s vernal pools, including as a scientific expert supporting our work to stop the Central Maine Power corridor project. She is a professor of wetlands ecology at the University of Maine.

Vaughan Woodruff Contributed photo

Woodruff of Pittsfield also was presented the Conservation Leadership Award for his tireless efforts, at the Legislature and throughout Maine, to move our state toward a clean energy future, create clean energy jobs for Maine people, and protect western Maine from the CMP corridor. He is founder of Insource Renewables, a certified, employee-owned B-Corp.

Cathy Johnson Contributed photo

Johnson of Alna received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her tireless advocacy in defense of Maine’s North Woods, and for her ability to inspire and galvanize support for wild places among NRCM members, coalition partners, and communities across Maine. In early 2020, she retired from the council after serving for almost 30 years as the Forests & Wildlife Director where she helped to create Maine’s Ecological Reserve system and the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, while pushing back against harmful development including Plum Creek’s massive proposal for the Moosehead Lake region.


Eric Sherman Contributed photo

Sherman of Greenville was presented the People’s Choice Award for his tireless efforts on the No CMP Corridor campaign ranging from gathering petition signatures to delivering signs to fundraising and keeping others informed, and for his dedication and hard work for the greater good of Maine’s North Woods. He is a schoolteacher and during the summer is a whitewater guide for Moxie Outdoor Adventures.

For more than 30 years, NRCM’s Conservation Leadership Awards have recognized residents across the state who work to protect the natural resources that are so important for Maine’s economy and way of life.

Past recipients include Sen. George Mitchell, natural history author Phyllis Austin, former Baxter State Park Director Buzz Caverly, Olympic champion/clean air activist Joan Benoit Samuelson, and more than 100 other citizen heroes who have made a difference in their communities and beyond.

More information about the work of this year’s award winners is available upon request.

More about NRCM’s Conservation Leadership Awards can be found at

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