Jack Stefferud, Natural Lands’ senior director of land protection, was honored earlier this year with the President’s Award for Environmental Excellence, presented by the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. The award recognizes citizens who have made an impact in protecting open space, conservation, outdoor recreation, or volunteerism.
Jack began his career with Natural Lands in 1988 and has had many job titles over the years. He served as farm manager, preserve manager, agriculture coordinator, regional manager, and assistant director of stewardship before he turned his talents to land protection.
Jack has completed more than 150 land protection projects resulting in nearly 8,000 acres of preserved land. This total includes the creation of new Natural Lands preserves, the expansion of existing preserves, the establishment of conservation easements, and the protection of natural areas that have been added to state parks, forests, and gamelands.
Tom Ford, director of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resource’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, said, “Jack has been a tremendous partner to us and many others interested in the conservation of our natural lands. There has never been a project too difficult for Jack to tackle. He has worked through the myriad grant programs, funding sources, and landowner nuances on many, many projects. He excels at recognizing opportunities to engage with landowners, building trusting relationships, and he possesses the knowledge and fortitude needed to complete complex projects.”