Olav Smedal Conservation Award

This award was initiated in 1988 by The Tribune to honor Olav Smedal, who spent 22 years as an outdoor writer and 17 years as the outdoor editor for the paper. It is presented annually to honor those who, by their actions or communications, have done the most to accurately present to the public of central Iowa excellence in the conservation of our natural resources and outdoor pursuits representing the highest standards of ethics and sportsmanship.

Several years after the initiation of the award by The Tribune, the Ames Chapter of the Izaak Walton League assumed sponsorship of the award. This seemed appropriate, as Olav was a “founding father” and charter member of the local organization.


A committee comprised of members from the Ames Chapter of the Izaak Walton League and the Story County Conservation Board selects the annual recipient. A permanent plaque with name plates recognizing all past award winners is displayed at the Story County Conservation Center at McFarland Park, and each recipient receives a beautiful, full-size personal plaque. Funding for the plaques is provided by the Ames Ikes. Promotion of the award program is primarily by The Tribune, which also provides public recognition and publicity for each winner.

Recipients to date are:

1988 Dale Brentnall

1989 Bill Horine

1990 Steve Lekwa

1991 Nancy Kurrle

1992 Cele Burnett

1993 David Van Waus

1994 Robert Pinneke

1995 Jim Pease

1996 George Patrick

1997 Ed Powell

1998 Mike Meetz

1999 Linda & Hank Zaletel

2000 Ervin Klaas

2001 Cindy Hildebrand 

2002 Jim Dinsmore

2003 Todd Burras

2004 Jim Colbert

2005 John Pohlman

2006 Rick Dietz

2007 Jimmie Thompson

2008 Carl & Linda Kurtz

2009 Gaylan & Lloyd Crim

2010 Deb Lewis

2011 Tom Rosburg

2012 Marlene and Bruce Ehresman

2013 Kerry "Pat" Schlarbaum

2014 Mike Todd

2015 Wolf Oesterreich

2016 Hank Kohler

2017 Joyce Hornstein

2018 Alvin Ravenscroft

2019 Craig Meyers

2020 Ted Tedesco

2021  Trish Patrick

2022 Jerry Keys