Conservationists honored at Land Trust’s 26th Annual Meeting

Jim and Robbie Mantooth received the 2016 Gary Colley Legacy Award, presented by Tom Sanford, North Olympic Land Trust executive director.

Longtime conservationists Jim and Robbie Mantooth were honored with the Gary Colley Legacy Award during the North Olympic Land Trust’s 26th Annual Meeting on Saturday, Nov. 19.

More than a decade ago, the Mantooths, owners of Ennis Arbor Farm, worked with the land trust to permanently conserve 46 acres, including a large stretch of Ennis Creek located in eastern Port Angeles, through a conservation easement, a legal agreement that permanently protects a property from development.

“Our top priority was protecting habitat for salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout in Ennis Creek, as well as other wildlife that need the riparian corridor that begins below Mount Angeles in Olympic National Park and continues to the Strait of Juan de Fuca,” Robbie said.

“We like knowing these qualities will be protected after our own lives because the land trust will make sure future owners meet the agreement’s terms,” she said.

“It’s very rewarding to be part of such a legacy.”

The Mantooths also have been instrumental in the development of the land trust.

“In the history of land conservation in Clallam County, there have been a handful of key individuals that have gone above and beyond to build the capacity of our community to be able to protect the places we love, and Jim and Robbie are among them,” Sanford said.

As a past land trust board president, Jim was critical in moving the nonprofit into its first office space and establishing solid business practices, Sanford said.

Robbie, a a retired Peninsula College journalism professor, continues to apply her expertise to the organization’s communications and public awareness, he said.

“Our goals included raising awareness and support for the land trust and enabling businesses, organizations and individual participants to show what might be done to live in greater harmony with our amazing environment,” Robbie said.

For many years, the Mantooths opened their property to the public for an annual event known as StreamFest.

StreamFest provided the community with an opportunity to interact with nature and see an example of conservation in action.

“It is a great way to be part of what is bigger than any single life and be able to leave a legacy for future generations,” Robbie said, reflecting on her and Jim’s conservation efforts.

“We think the exceptional qualities of our lands and waters are important assets for our economy as well as the quality of life that makes us and others want to live and visit our area.”

As the 2016 recipients of the Gary Colley Legacy Award, the Mantooths are following in the footsteps of such well-known local conservationists as the late John Willits and one of the land trust’s founders, Gary Colley of Port Angeles.

Since its founding in 1990, the land trust has conserved more than 3,200 acres across the Peninsula for farms, fish and forests.

Article courtesy Peninsula Daily News. Published Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.