Methow Valley resident Maggie Coon has been named this year’s recipient of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition’s (WWRC) Thomas Award, which recognizes significant, long-term contributions to conservation and preservation in the state.
Coon, a founder and current president of the Methow Valley Citizens Council and a former chair of the WWRC, is being honored as “one of the foremost advocates for preservation of the Methow Valley.”
“Maggie has been a long-time champion for the WWRC, and also devoted more than 20 years to The Nature Conservancy, gaining broad experience in state, national and international land conservation,” the WWRC said in a press release.
According to information in the WWRC press release, Coon came to the Methow Valley in 1975 to work for the U.S. Forest Service on a study of the potential economic effect of Aspen Corporation’s proposed downhill ski resort. She co-founded the Methow Valley Citizens Council to oppose the ski resort and to ensure responsible land use in the Methow. She was also involved in the effort to establish what became the Lake Chelan/Sawtooth Wilderness, included in the Washington State Wilderness Act of 1984.
Coon worked for 20 years for The Nature Conservancy. From 1997 to 2002, she served as director of government relations for the Conservancy. Coon lobbied for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, and served as board president from 2006-2008. Under her leadership, the WWRC first achieved the $100 million funding mark.
In 2009, Coon returned to the Methow Valley. She and her husband, Mark Wolf-Armstrong, live on a farm on the Twisp River farm.
“Joan Thomas was an icon, someone whom I was deeply privileged to know,” Coon said this week. “I remember her as a fearless and tireless advocate who cared passionately about the land and cherished the many people she touched. It’s an incredible honor to do whatever I can to carry her legacy into the future and to help pass the torch to the next generation of leaders. I also must take this opportunity to thank the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition for their work to protect special places around the state and especially here in the Methow Valley.”
Coon holds a B.S. from Yale University and a Master’s of Forestry degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Coon will receive the award at the WWRC’s annual breakfast on Sept. 27 at the Westin Hotel in Seattle, where about 500 business leaders, politicians, community leaders, philanthropists and coalition partners are expected to gather. For information, email Breakfast@WildlifeRecreation.org.