The 2008 Heroes of Conservation Awards

Hod Kosman of Scottsbluff, Neb., said his money was on any of the five other Heroes of Conservation Awards Finalists to win the Hero of the Year award, but at the end of the night, he was the one driving away with a new Toyota Tundra. With National Hunting and Fishing Day being celebrated tomorrow, Field & Stream and Toyota got the party started early with the third annual Heroes of Conservation Awards Gala on September 25. Hosted by Bob Marshall, F&S's conservation field editor, the event honored the hard work that seven everyday hunters and anglers are doing to preserve our natural resources. Held in the Theodore Roosevelt wing of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the gala also featured the presentation of the Boy Scout Hero of the Year award and the Conservation Organization Chapter of the Year. Here are the highlights from the night.Field & Stream Online Editors
The first award was presented to Benjamin Pearce of Warwick, N.Y., the Boy Scout Hero of the Year, for his pheasant raising and stocking project. The 2007 Hero of the Year, Brian Maguire of Portland, Ore., was on hand to present him $500 in Bass Pro Shops gift cards and a kayak courtesy of Field & Stream licensing.Field & Stream Online Editors
H. Dale Hall, the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Department, presented the Conservation Organization Chapter of the Year award to Mike Cuin (above) and the Rawlins Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.Field & Stream Online Editors
Andy Batcho of Seattle, Wash. was the first Heroes of Conservation finalist honored at the gala.Field & Stream Online Editors
Hod Kosman was next in line. Each finalist was given a framed copy of the October 2008 cover and the page that appeared in the magazine.Field & Stream Online Editors
Charles Lane of Charleston, S.C. was the third hero honored for his work protecting the wetlands in the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto basin.Field & Stream Online Editors
Chad Pregracke of East Moline, Ill. followed Charles in the list of honorees. The finalists also received a $5,000 grant from Toyota to contribute to their conservation project.Field & Stream Online Editors
Dale Rollins of San Angelo, Texas was the fifth hero to be honored, doing his award-winning bob white quail whistle.Field & Stream Online Editors
The last finalists featured were Jim Tripp and Sandra Millan-Tripp of Old Lyme, Conn., the first ever Heroes of Conservation couple finalist.Field & Stream Online Editors
Lyle Laverty, the Assistant Secretary of Interior for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks delivered the keynote address.Field & Stream Online Editors
Following Secretary Laverty's address, Bob Marshall ended the suspense and announced Hod Kosman as the 2008 Conservation Hero of the Year.Field & Stream Online Editors
Secretary Laverty and the Boy Scout of the Year, Benjamin Pearce with the award that was presented to Benjamin.Field & Stream Online Editors
Field & Stream's Art Director, Neil Jamieson (center) enjoys the cocktail reception and the photo op.Field & Stream Online Editors
The Tripps, Mike Cuin, and H. Dale Hall share their passion for the outdoors and conservation after the ceremony.Field & Stream Online Editors
(Left to Right) Lyle Laverty, Kim Kyaw with Toyota, Hod Kosman, and Field & Stream publisher, Eric Zinczenko with the keys to the new Toyota Tundra.Field & Stream Online Editors
To see in depth video profiles of all of our finalists and to nominate your Hero of Conservation, go to fieldandstream.com/heroes.Field & Stream Online Editors