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Marga Raskin and Karin Caldwell undertook the establishment of a conservation award in honor of Alexis Kelner. The text establishing the award was adopted by the Club at a general membership meeting in 1988, and reads as follows:
In celebration of 50 years of active life, much of which has been spent preserving the natural beauty of the Wasatch Mountains, the friends of Alexis Kelner have established 'The Alexis Kelner Conservation Fund' to be administered by the Wasatch Mountain Club. It is suggested that revenues from this fund be spent on annual awards to individuals, inside or outside the Club, who have given distinguished service to the cause of Utah Conservation. These awards are to be named 'Alexis Kelner Conservation Awards'.
The establishment of the awards was, in fact, a formalization of a trend started some years earlier at our annual nominations and awards banquet for honoring individuals who had contributed significantly to the preservation and conservation of Utah's public lands. In 1973, Fred Bruenger and Alexis Kelner were honored for the effort to stop the 1976 Winter Olympic Games that had been proposed and promoted for the Wasatch Front canyons. In the early 1980's, Chuck Reichmuth was recognized for his impassioned plea for rapid congressional enactment of the Utah Wilderness Bill. A few years later, Marilyn Tueller and Bob Wright were jointly recognized for efforts to stop nuclear testing in southern Nevada.
|1989||Dick Carter, founder and director of the Utah Wilderness Association, for his continued activism on behalf of the state's public lands, wilderness areas, wildlife, and eco-systems.|
|1990||Tom Berggren, Salt Lake attorney, for his work on behalf of Watsatch Front canyons preservation, for utilizing his legal skills to prepare numerous appeals of Forest Service decisions regarding the Brighton-Solitude expansion, and for being instrumental in helping convince Salt Lake City officials to enact a moratorium on canyon land development.|
|1991||Steve Lewis, for his ceaseless activism to bring about a heli-free Wasatch, and his participation on the mediation team of backcountry tourers during the Forest Service's ill-fated attempt to resolve the continually escalating conflicts between backcountry tourers and the heliski concessionaire.|
|1992||Rick Steiner, for his active participation in the formulation of the Salt Lake County's Master Plan, his enthusiastic involvement in the mediation between the backcountry and heliski tourers, and the use of his talents for creative compromise.|
|2008||Lawson Legate, Southwest Senior Regional Representative for the Sierra Club, for his on going contributions to conservation in Utah (and surrounding areas).|
|2009||Kathy Van Dame, Policy Coordinator, Wasatch Clean Air Coalition, for her many years of dedicated effort to protection of air quality.|
|2010||Carl Fisher, Executive Director, Save Our Canyons|
|2011||HEAL Utah has established itself as a leader in the struggle to make Utah's environment healthy and safe for all|
|2012||Ray Bloxham, Field Director for SUWA|
|2013||Jim Bradley, Salt Lake County Councilman, for his many years of protecting and preserving the Wasatch mountains and foothills.|
|2014||Ann Wechsler, who was Conservation Chair for the Utah Chapter Sierra Club.|
|2015||Dave Andrenyak, who has been the WMC Trails Coordinator for many years.|
|2016||Will McCarvill, who was the WMC Conservation Director for many years and continues to organize conservation activities.|
|2017||Dave Pacheco, his work has been instrumental in the fight (which must continue) for Bears Ears National Monument, and his work with SUWA and Wilderness Volunteers.|