Janet Bissell was named Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust’s volunteer of the year. Contributed photo

Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust in August honored community members for their conservation contributions.

The awards included the Senator Angus King for Conservation Excellence, granted individually to Warren Whitney and Betsy Ham of Maine Coast Heritage Trust. This award is meant to “publicly acknowledge those individuals who have worked to conserve lands and waters for the benefit of the community and future generations, in Maine and beyond,” said David Miller, executive director, according to a news release from the trust. “It is particularly intended to recognize those heroic and unheralded citizens who have labored largely behind the scenes, and who may have been overlooked and unacknowledged for their contributions.”

Two Spirit of the Community awards went to Maine Department of Transportation employees Larry Johannesman and Fred Michaud.

Michaud labored tirelessly on behalf of the Rangeley Region and has been the driving force behind the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway, according to the news release.

Johannesman has been the leading landscape designer and is responsible for creating the Height of Land and Whip Willow Farm Scenic Overlooks along the byway. He’s also been the lead designer on RLHT’s Madrid Gateway property, which will host the Sandy River Scenic Turnout.

Additionally, RLHT named Janet Bissell its 2021 volunteer of the year. Bissell is a longtime supporter of RLHT and has been an active invasive plant patrol volunteer since 2014. In 2019, she became regional coordinator for the entire Rangeley Lakes Region, and she continues to oversee lake leaders on 12 waterbodies.

Bissell has been a mentor to RLHT’s AmeriCorps Environmental Stewards, who coordinate the Headwaters Lake Protection Program, the last two summers.

For more information, visit rlht.org.