Bob Iles, 2012 People’s Choice Award
For exceptional efforts preserving the summit of and maintaining trails on Whitecap Mountain in Rumford, and for continued work to obtain public access to area lands and waterways as a member of the board of the Mahoosuc Land Trust
The Natural Resources Council of Maine created the People’s Choice Award to give our supporters opportunity to acknowledge a person or group in their community who is making a difference for Maine’s environment. This year our finalists included Eric Hopkins of York, nominated for his work promoting energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy in local schools, government and throughout York County, and Pam Wells of Old Town, for her volunteer work with the Maine Youth Fish and Game Association, teaching youth about Maine wildlife and for generously allowing visitors on her 1,100 acres of land to also teach them about Maine’s frogs, turtles, and other wildlife. She also shares her amazing wildlife photos with groups like NRCM for our various publications and website. We would like to honor Eric and Pam with a certificate.
The winner of the People’s Choice Award is determined by NRCM members and supporters. This year, the voting was closer than ever, and we had a record number of people voting—and even one person who wrote, “I can’t vote, because all three of these nominees are so exceptional.” In the end, one person did receive more votes than the others, and he is Bob Iles of Bethel.
Bob was nominated by his wife Allidah for his land conservation work in the western region of Maine.
He has served on the Board of Directors of the Mahoosuc Land Trust for many years, during which he successfully spearheaded the campaign to purchase and conserve for the public a significant portion of the bald summit of Whitecap Mountain in Rumford. Whitecap has been a favorite hiking destination for generations of Maine people. Bob, a long-time NRCM member, continues to work tirelessly and with passion to coordinate the volunteers who work on trail maintenance for Whitecap, and his fans say it is nearly impossible to convey how many volunteer hours Bob spends on Mahoosuc Land Trust business. He is now quietly working to obtain another canoe launch site on the Androscoggin River for the Mahoosuc Land Trust to hold for public access. Bob is described as “a giving man who has put considerable effort into preserving special places so future generations can enjoy the same places he has loved.”
And for these reasons, I am delighted to present Bob Iles with the 2012 NRCM People’s Choice Award.