The Dutchess County Ducks Unlimited Chapter awarded its Conservation Award to Christopher L. J. Wood, Chair of the Oblong Land Conservancy and dedicated advocate for conservation of the Great Swamp for well over a decade.
Ned Sullivan, President of Scenic Hudson, presented the award at the Annual Great Swamp Shoot. "Saving the Great Swamp requires vision, leadership, and a collaborative spirit,” Sullivan observed. “Chris Wood has shown all these qualities, and great progress in this vital cause is the result. I'm honored to be joining others in celebrating his groundbreaking work."
“We are pleased to announce that Chris Wood is the recipient of this year’s Wetlands Conservation Award,” remarked Tim Bontecou, President of the Dutchess County DU Chapter. “As the Chair of the Oblong Land Conservancy for over 15 years, Chris has encouraged collaborative projects to leverage the work of various stakeholders in the Great Swamp.”
The Oblong Land Conservancy (OLC,) the Putnam County Land Trust and Friends of the Great Swamp (FrOGS,) are close to finalizing the first stage of an initiative to develop a Strategic Land Conservation Plan for the Great Swamp Watershed. The path-breaking effort was funded by a Catalyst Grant from the Land Trust Alliance, with the intent to bring together under one roof the various groups who care about protecting its natural resources and habitat. “Once a Memo of Understanding is signed by our three groups, we will invite other stakeholders to join us, among them conservation organizations such as the Dutchess Land Conservancy and the Cary Institute,” Wood elaborated.
Under his leadership, Oblong Land Conservancy (OLC) joined the Hudson to Highlands Coalition to represent the North Flow of the Great Swamp, is currently exploring with the Cary Institute a Forest Management Workshop program, and supervising an Eagle Scout Project for the Slocum-Mostachetti Preserve, a unique property in the North Flow of the Great Swamp, acquired in partnership with FrOGS, and owned and managed by OLC.
After learning of the award, Wood said, “I am honored that the Dutchess County Ducks Unlimited Chapter has recognized my efforts to protect, conserve and restore the remarkable wetlands that make up the Great Swamp Watershed. In turn, I would like to recognize my colleagues on the OLC Board for their hard work. What we accomplish is very much a team effort.“