Finalist David Ramsey, a sporting-goods store manager from Unicoi, Tennesee, devoted fifteen years to securing protection for the 10,000-acre Rocky Fork watershed, which had been the largest tract of unprotected mountain land in the eastern U.S. and held six generations of Ramsey family heritage.

On Friday, we’ll post a video of this hero in action, guiding Editor-at-large Eddie Nickens through Rocky Fork’s rugged mountain habitat to cast for native brook trout.