A Warrior for Woodies, a Bass Conservationist, and an Estuary Enhancer

Scott Jasion, Mike Cusano, and Charles Lane are this month's Heroes of Conservation.

BOOSTING WOOD DUCKS IN MARYLAND

Scott Jasion, Fallston, Md.
"It's a put-and-take world, and I try to take a little and put back a lot," says Scott Jasion, a vice president of a manufacturing supply chain. In his late teens, Jasion joined the Harford County chapter of Ducks Unlimited. Then, a few years ago, he started assisting local Boy Scouts in hanging wood duck boxes. With the boxes provided by the Scouts, he began monitoring hatch rates, experimenting with predator control, and studying how ducks used the boxes. In 2004, he helped form the Maryland Wood Duck Initiative to ensure that all duck conservationists are using the best practices for their conservation projects.

BATTLING INVASIVE SPECIES FOR BASS

Mike Cusano, Clay, N.Y.
As a tournament angler, Mike Cusano joined the New York BASS Federation to help promote his sport in 1996. Cusano, a business manager at Syracuse University, soon saw a need for a chapter conservationist. For five years, he served as the chapter's first conservation director. Last year, he became chapter president and decided to tackle the growing problem of invasive water chestnut plants, a nonnative species. He organized a widespread cleanup to spotlight the issue and to try to eradicate the weed. "It's not going to happen the first time you go out, but if you pull up 200 plants, you're stopping the growth of a million."

PROTECTING AN ESTUARY FROM DEVELOPMENT

Charles Lane, Charleston, S.C.
Charles Lane shot his first duck in 1960, and when development threatened the Ashepoo, Combahee, and South Edisto (ACE) Basin where he'd spent countless hours afield, he resolved to step in and save it. In 1988, Lane helped found the ACE Basin Project. "It's a unique partnership where we have hunting and other conservation groups usually associated with anti-hunting joining forces to preserve this area for traditional uses, which includes hunting," says Lane, a real estate developer. The group has protected over 172,000 acres, including 40,000 acres of public hunting land.

Nominate your Hero of Conservation. Every hero featured in the magazine receives a $1,000 grant from Toyota.