Residents recognized for land stewardship and research

Two environmentalists were honored by the Franklin-based Land Trust for the Little Tennessee at its annual celebration Nov. 3 in Macon County.

Tom Hatley, who runs a land planning consultation firm in Asheville, received the 2012 Robert and Virginia Ramsey Brunner Land Conservationist of the Year Award. LTLT highlighted Hatley’s work in founding the LTLT’s sustainable forestry program as well as protecting special places in Macon County, such as the Needmore Tract and the Cowee Mound.

The Brunner Award was established in 2004 to honor one of the founders of LTLT.

Hatley has more than 30 years of experience working in environmental protection, justice and leadership. He is also an author and former professor at Western Carolina University.

John Gladden was also honored for his work with the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award. Gladden has volunteered with the LTLT’s aquatic biomonitoring and land stewardship programs and assisted with youth education activities. Gladden is a retired research and development manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory in South Carolina. He now lives with his wife Sandy in southern Macon County after moving to Western North Carolina two years ago.

LTLT is an organization with the goal of 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 and fulfill its goals.

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