The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (LTLT) presented Land Conservationist of the Year and Volunteer of the Year Awards during LTLT's annual Fall Celebration on Nov. 3.
John Gladden received the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award. Gladden has been active in LTLT’s aquatic biomonitoring and land stewardship programs and has also assisted with youth education activities.
Gladden lives with his wife, Sandy, in southern Macon County. They moved to Western North Carolina two years ago after Gladden retired as a research and development manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory in South Carolina.
Tom Hatley, a member of Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute’s Leadership Team, received the 2012 Robert and Virginia Ramsey Brunner Land Conservationist of the Year Award. The award recognizes Hatley’s contributions to conservation across the southern Blue Ridge. The Brunner Award was established in 2004 to honor the Brunners’ vision and generosity, which were instrumental in the founding of LTLT.
Paul Carlson, executive director of LTLT, describes Hatley as having played an “instrumental role in the founding of LTLT and formulating conservation strategies that led to the conservation of the Needmore Tract, the Cowee Mound, and to the establishment of the Little Tennessee Sustainable Forestry Partnership.” Carl Silverstein, executive director of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, and Tom Belt, Visiting Instructor of Cherokee at Western Carolina University, were also on hand at Saturday’s event to praise Hatley’s conservation work.
Professionally, Hatley has more than 30 years of experience working in environmental protection, justice and leadership. He is currently the principal of Tom Hatley Heritage and Natural Resources Consulting, which works in land conservation and restoration, coalition and partnership building, dispute resolution, community development, and heritage and place-based conservation and interpretation strategies.
Prior to creating his own consulting business, Hatley worked with groups including The Nature Conservancy in North Carolina, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, and the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition. He was also a Western Carolina University Sequoyah Distinguished Professor in Cherokee Studies from 2002 to 2008. Hatley received his undergraduate degree in History from Davidson College, and holds a Master of Forest Science Degree from Yale University, and a PhD in Colonial History from Duke University.
Hatley has served on boards for numerous organizations including the International Biosphere Trust, the Center for Native Health in Cherokee, North Carolina, Wild South, the World Conservation Union’s Mountain Protected Areas Network, Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources, Environmental Advocates of New York, and the South Appalachian Man and the Biosphere Program. He is the author of two books, “The Dividing Paths: Cherokees and South Carolinians through the Era of Revolution” (1995), and “Uncertainty: On a Himalayan Scale” (2007), co-written with Michael Thompson and Michael Warburton, as well as many articles.
LTLT is dedicated to conserving the waters, forests, farms, and heritage of the Upper Little Tennessee and Hiwassee River Valleys. It works in partnership with private landowners, public agencies, and others to conserve land, ensuring that the natural beauty, ecological integrity, and rural character of our region are preserved for generations to come.