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News Release

For Immediate Release: June 5, 2007                                                                                                  
Contact: David Christy (916) 985-4474

Chuck Haugen Conservation Fund Picnic Set for June 23

The fourth annual Chuck Haugen Conservation Fund Picnic will be held June 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Toro County Park in Monterey County. The park is located across Highway 68 from Fort Ord.
“The annual picnic allows us to recognize natural resource conservation award winners and also say thank you to all the volunteers and others who work to preserve our natural resources,” said Bruce Delgado, BLM botanist and Chuck Haugen Conservation Fund president.
Five organizations or individuals will receive $250 grants to be used in their conservation work:
Ventana Wildlife Society (Non-Profit of the Year) – VWS has released 70 bald eagles in Monterey County. Thirty-three bald eagle chicks were successfully fledged by the year 2000 following a 70-absence of breeding bald eagles. VWS has sustained songbird monitoring on the Big Sur River, has implemented an on-going study of monarch butterfly wintering populations in Monterey County and has worked as a member of the California Condor Recovery Team to release 41 California condors back to the wild. A VWS bilingual youth education program reaches hundreds of children each year from Salinas and other urban areas in Monterey County with hands-on environmental education. 
Craig Hohenberger (Educator/Artist of the Year Award) - His contributions include creating the Hilton Bialek Habitat, the ornithology program at Carmel Middle School, and involving students in the planting of natives on the grounds of Forest Theater.
Milos Radakovich (Volunteer of the Year Award) – Ten years ago he founded Bay Net (an ocean and seashore environmental awareness project) and since then has been training and inspiring volunteers for Bay Net.
Sodexho Foods at California State University Monterey Bay (Business of the Year) – Sodexho is a leader in waste reduction and serving organic food on campus.  Sodhexo’s food and food services include sustainable options such as organically grown food, plates and silverware that can be composted, and waste recycling.
Dave VenTresca (Steve Addington Employee of the Year Award) - VenTresca, a marine biologist and 30-year California Department of Fish and Game employee, retired May 2007. He is the author and/or co-author of numerous fisheries resource research such as Ecosystem Observations Annual Reports on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. His career contributions include creation of online access to fishery datasets from northern and central California dating back to1958 and his development of innovative and non-destructive sampling techniques.
The Chuck Haugen Conservation Fund is named in honor of a prominent volunteer and conservationist from the Monterey Bay area. Haugen, a marine biologist and conservationist, died on July 18, 2002, of an allergic reaction to yellow jacket stings while doing volunteer plant restoration work on BLM lands at Fort Ord.   The Steve Addington award is given in honor of Addington, the former BLM Fort Ord project manager. The mission of CHCF is to appreciate and inspire volunteers and professional who contribute to the conservation of the Monterey Bay area’s ecosystems in the bay and on land.
BLM and 12 other organizations are sponsoring the picnic: Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, Big Sur Land Trust, Marina Grange, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Bicycle-Equestrian Trail Assistance Group on Fort Ord, Marina Tree and Garden Club, Elkhorn Slough Foundation, Ventana Wilderness Alliance, California State Parks, Monterey Bay California Native Plant Society, Return of the Natives Restoration Education Project, the Beach Garden Project, and the Chuck Haugen Conservation Fund.
For more information, contact Picnic Chairperson Peter Nelson at (831) 383-635 or pedropratt@gmail.com

Last updated: 06-25-2007