For the past six years, the Land Trust has presented the “Out Standing in the Field” award to highlight the work done within an individual or organization’s field of expertise that has positively impacted the North Olympic Peninsula and its communities. “This award allows the organization and greater community an opportunity to show our appreciation to those who help to improve the quality of life on the North Olympic Peninsula,” said Tom Sanford, North Olympic Land Trust executive director.
The Land Trust is pleased to announce that the 2020 Out Standing in the Field Award will be presented to renowned environmental photographer Pat O’Hara. O’Hara has been a leader in his profession for four decades. He has traveled all over the world, from Sakartvelo in the country of Georgia to Gates of the Arctic National Park in Alaska. O’Hara has received numerous awards including the Photography Gold Medal presented by the New York Art Directors Club, and the Award of Excellence by Communication Arts Magazine. Proud to call himself a native Washingtonian, O’Hara was thrilled to return to the North Olympic Peninsula in 1981, settling for good in a place he loves for its diversity of landscape and community of conservation-minded citizens. “The Peninsula has mountains, glaciers, alpine meadows, a temperate rainforest, and the Salish Sea, all in a small package,” said O’Hara. “We also have unique agriculture with the rainshadow and the Dungeness River valley.” O’Hara’s body of work has contributed greatly to conservation in his beloved state, with much of his work promoting environmental concerns. The 1984 publication of “Washington Wilderness: The Unfinished Work,” written by Harvey Manning and featuring O’Hara’s stunning photos, was instrumental in helping pass legislation that added over a million acres to the National Wilderness System. O’Hara has also collaborated with local poet and nature writer Tim McNulty on several projects, including books on the Olympic and Mt Rainier National Parks. The Land Trust is thrilled that McNulty will join in presenting this award to O’Hara on May 12th.
For a glimpse of Pat O’Hara’s incredible work, please visit his website. To read more about his fascinating life story, please visit this “Legend Behind the Lens” feature on the Nikon website.
The Land Trust typically presents the Out Standing in the Field Award at its annual Conservation Breakfast. This year’s breakfast was unable to be held in April to COVID-19 social distancing measures. The program elements from the event, including the presentation of the Out Standing in the Field Award, were moved to an online format.
Past Out Standing in the Field honorees include: Ron Allen and the Natural Resources staff at Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Jefferson Land Trust, Dick Goin, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and their Natural Resources Department, the Clallam Conservation District, and the North Olympic Salmon Coalition.