Field & Stream, the world’s leading outdoor magazine, honors Vermont’s poet Laureate Sydney Lea for his extraordinary contributions to conservation through his volunteer service and leadership with Downeast Lakes Land Trust in its July 2012 issue.
In 2001, Lea volunteered to co-chair a $35 million capital campaign to permanently protect 350,000 acres of undeveloped forest, including 450 miles of lakeshore habitat aroundGrand Lake Stream,Maine, containing the purest strain of native landlocked salmon in the region. “You don’t find these kinds of waters in the Northeast anymore,” says Lea, a lifelong outdoorsman who is alsoVermont’s poet laureate. With his help, the purchase by Downeast Lakes Land Trust, a collaboration of guides and residents, was successful, and Lea is now working on their West Grand Lake Community Forest fund-raising campaign to protect an adjacent 22,000 acres.
Each month Field & Stream profiles three grassroots conservationists as part of its Heroes of Conservation program, which is dedicated to recognizing sportsmen who go above and beyond in the protection of fish, wildlife and habitat. Mr. Lea will receive a $500 conservation grant from Field & Stream’s Heroes of Conservation partner Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and is also eligible for the Heroes of Conservation grand prize, a new Toyota Tundra. To be considered for the program, individuals must be involved in a hunting- and/or fishing-related conservation project that is well under way with outstanding results. Selections are based on a number of factors, including leadership, commitment and project growth.