Our 2012 Environmental Awards

Here are the people and organizations working hard to perserve the most special places of the West

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Hero: 40 & under

Hero: 40 & under

Scott Fisher’s résumé is guaranteed to make the rest of us feel like wimps: Marine veteran of Desert Storm; Ph.D. in peace studies; fluent in Hawaiian. And director of conservation for the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (hilt.org), which has saved 17,000 acres of tropical paradise—including the preservation of Waihe‘e, on Maui’s North Shore, which was slated to be a golf course.

How do you get the iGeneration interested in helping? 

Just watching children who we bring out to Waihe‘e to build native taro patches—they were thrilled with their hands in the mud. And this was not a video game or TV. Kids are still kids and have a longing to connect with the natural world, and that is a human longing. That’s what we need to cultivate.

What can somebody do to help save land besides donate money? 

On Maui in particular, the Pacific Whale Foundation (pacificwhale.org) has a volunteers-on-vacation program, and Hawaiian Islands Land Trust offers free hikes. In general, research the history of the community by reading old newspapers and talking to elders (or kupuna). It can transform the way you see the land by learning how others related to it before you.

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