Placer County Locals recognized for volunteer efforts in conservation.
AUBURN, CA – On Wednesday, February 22, Placer Land Trust presented two special volunteer awards to Anita Yoder, the 2011 Volunteer of the Year, and Deren Ross, the 2011 Land Steward of the Year. Placer Land Trust presents these awards annually to volunteers who have made exceptional service contributions to the organization
Yoder has lived in Placer County with her husband Bill since 1976. She spent 20 years as the Public Information Officer for Placer County serving the Board of Supervisors before retiring in 2010. While working at Placer County, she had many opportunities to learn about land conservation, and she became especially interested in Placer Land Trust during the acquisition of the Bruin Ranch property, now called the Harvego Bear River Preserve.
Yoder began volunteering with Placer Land Trust last summer as one of the docents in the newly created docent-led hikes program. As a core member of the docent team she has provided valuable advice and guidance to help improve the docent hike program and played a significant role in its rapid expansion and success.
“The docent hikes are a great fit for my lifestyle,” says Anita. “I get to hike around the beautiful preserve and encourage other people to get involved in conservation and preserving land in Placer County.”
Ross is a native of Placer County and an avid conservationist and naturalist. He spent nearly 25 years working as a water treatment operator with the Placer County Water Agency and has been involved with numerous conservation organizations throughout the years. Ross has a passion for discovering, studying, and protecting the flora and fauna of the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Ross spent numerous hours researching & studying the dogface butterfly population on Placer Land Trust’s Shutamul Preserve. The dogface butterfly enjoys special status as the California State Insect. Despite its celebrity status, little is known about the lifecycle of this butterfly: Deren has worked with Placer Land Trust and researchers from UC Davis since 2009 to help add to the body of knowledge.
“I learned about the California Dogface butterfly through the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis,” says Ross. “Dr. Art Shapiro at UC Davis told me there is still much to be learned about this butterfly. After studying them for a couple years, I discovered a remarkable breeding population on Placer Land Trust’s Shutamul Preserve.”
“Placer Land Trust is truly honored to have people as dedicated as Anita and Deren volunteering with us,” says Executive Director Jeff Darlington.
Placer Land Trust Board President Fred Yeager presented the awards at the organization’s annual Volunteer Happy Hour. Previous recipients include: Patty Ruud, Nancyjo Rieske, Bill & Georgia Flake, Gary Wells, and Karl Mertz.
Placer Land Trust is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 1991 and dedicated to working with willing landowners and conservation partners to permanently preserve natural and agricultural lands in Placer County. To date the Trust has preserved 7,171 acres across Placer County for current and future generations. For more information, call (530) 887-9222 or visit www.placerlandtrust.org.