Past Award Winner - Ian Macnab
Ian has possessed a strong passion for the work of the conservation authorities and the importance of watershed management for his whole career. He is intimately aware of the challenges faced by the C.A’s and he has always been willing to champion their cause. His work in the conservation field has been coloured with extreme perseverance and vision.
Ian’s career in conservation began with the Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (MTR CA) (precursor to Toronto Conservation) where he was hired as a Fisheries Biologist in 1973. He stayed with MTR CA for seven years until he was asked to head-up the newly founded Kawartha Region Conservation Authority (now Kawartha Conservation) in 1980. Ian became the C.A.s first General Manager/Secretary- Treasurer in 1986 and with a title change, the Chief Administrative Officer in 2001. He worked at Kawartha Region Conservation Authority for 28 years – retiring in 2008.
The changes and improvements that Ian oversaw at Kawartha Conservation during his tenure are a testament to his passion. When he started at the C.A. Ian worked from a folding card table in rented office space and made telephone calls from a public telephone. By 1992 Kawartha Conservation had its own modern administrative building at Ken Reid Conservation Area. When Kawartha Conservation was threatened with closure due to budget constraint Ian was at the forefront of the battle – actively displaying the need for watershed management in the Kawarthas and forming Friends of Kawartha Conservation in order to assist with conservation projects and funding.
Ian has a penchant for mentoring and this was a continuous theme throughout his career. Not only did he act as a role model for young professionals who reported to him at the conservation authorities, but he was instrumental in encouraging young people in pursuit of environmental careers at Sir Sanford Fleming College, School of Natural Resources in Lindsay. He was a founding member of the College’s advisory board for ecosystem management and has served on it as an advisory for the past 16 years. Ian is a strong supporter of the Young Conservation Professionals (YCP) Program and is a lecturer for its programs.
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