(SANDPOINT) At its 4th annual conservation lecture and dinner in North Idaho Thursday night, the Idaho Conservation League awarded Chris Ryan for her overall work on conservation causes and journalist Eric Barker for excellence and integrity in press coverage of environmental issues.

Ryan won ICL’s highest award, the Keith and Pat Axline Award for Environmental Activism, for her tireless work to protect wilderness in U.S. Forest Service lands.  While at the Forest Service, she helped develop guidance for the regional office to preserve the essential character of wilderness. She spent 35 years with the agency, most of that time in wilderness management. She also served as wilderness program manager for the Northern Region. Established in 1995, the Axline Award is named for two long-time ICL members dedicated to conservation causes. 

Barker won the J. Robb Brady Award for Environmental Journalism for his body of work as outdoor editor and environmental reporter for the Lewiston Tribune. This work includes his in-depth reports on Idaho salmon and steelhead. He has been a reporter at the Tribune for about 20 years. The Brady Award is named after the former publisher of the Idaho Falls Post Register. Started in 1999, the award recognizes excellence and integrity in press coverage of environmental issues.

The conservation lecture and dinner is named in honor of the late Scott Reed, who, along with his wife Mary Lou and others, co-founded ICL in 1973 to serve as a conservation voice at the Idaho Legislature.  The celebration was held on Thursday, Oct. 10 at the Hayden Lake Country Club. Rick Johnson, former ICL executive director, was the keynote speaker. New Executive Director Justin Hayes and others also spoke during the evening. In September 2016, ICL held its first Scott Reed lecture and dinner.

The evening helped raise funds to support ICL’s work on salmon and steelhead recovery, climate change, cleaning up the Snake River, protecting public lands, and for ICL’s Emerging Leaders in Environment Program, which works to engage, inspire and empower the next generation of Idaho conservationists.