COLUMBUS — London writer Jane Beathard was one of several Ohioans honored this week by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) with awards for contributions to the state’s natural resources and conservation.
Beathard, a native of Madison County, was one of four to receive the Cardinal Award for conservation achievement.
“I think surprised is putting it mildly. I was floored,” Beathard said when asked if she was surprised to learn of the honor.
Beathard said she was nominated for the award by Andy Ware, Deputy ODNR Director for her writing. She works for Ohio Outdoor News, as well at The Madison Press and SALT Magazine. She has worked for The Madison Press off and on since 1987.
“What has helped me as a writer is my background of being raised on a farm,” she said Tuesday after the award announcement was released. “My dad farmed, and also was a hunter and a trapper, so I got both perspectives. I understood both the views of the hunter and the farmer.”
Beathard received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Old Dominican College and later her Master’s Degree in Journalism from The Ohio State University.
“I am very honored to be included in this group,” Beathard said, pointing to fellow recipients Gary Winterburn, manager of Beaverkettle Farms, the Wilds and Ducks Unlimited. “Seeing these other recipients, I don’t feel like I deserve this award compared to them, especially the Wild.”
In naming her to the award, ODNR said in its announcement: “Beathard is one of the state’s most prolific outdoor writers, covering topics from Ohio’s forests, parks, natural areas, wildlife and water issues. Because of her efforts over the years, more people are encouraged to get outside and to enjoy the wide range of tremendous natural assets found throughout Ohio.”
The Cardinal Awards honor individuals and organizations demonstrating exceptional awareness and concern for ideals reflected in the department’s mission statement.
Winterburn’s management of more than 4,000 acres of land surrounding Little Beaver Creek has always kept the State and Nationally Designated Wild and Scenic River in mind to reduce erosion from trails and logging practices. Winterburn has planted thousands of trees, organized clean-up activities and written books on the history and importance of the area “so that future generations may enjoy the pleasures that were taken for granted by generations of the past.”
The Wilds is built on reclaimed coal mine land in eastern Ohio. This land has been used since the 1980s “to lead and inspire by connecting people and wildlife.” By highlighting environmental impacts to animals found in Africa and Asia, the Wilds also reminds us about environmental issues here at home.
Ducks Unlimited’s efforts in Ohio span the entire state, from restoring depleted wetlands in the northwest, protecting intact wetlands in the northeast and conserving land along the vital Scioto River corridor. Through their Great Lakes Initiative, Ducks Unlimited addresses multiple habitat types and provides abundant resources for breeding, migrating and wintering waterfowl.
In addition to the Cardinal Award, ODNR also awarded its highest honor to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the protection and enjoyment of the state’s natural resources. Jack Vodrey was inducted into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame. Other Hall of Fame recipients this year include Jack Fishburn, owner of Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, and Bob and Hope Taft, former governor and first lady of Ohio.
The Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame was established by ODNR in 1966. The award recognizes a lifetime devoted to the preservation, protection and wise management of Ohio’s natural resources. Previous Hall of Fame honorees include the legendary Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), Ohio-born explorer John Wesley Powell, botanist Lucy Braun and conservationist/novelist Louis Bromfield.
Reach General Manager/Editor Gary Brock at 937-556-5759.