Lois Ruskell

Lois Ruskell

Snohomish Conservation District recently honored its longtime public relations coordinator, Lois Ruskell, with the SCD Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ruskell, of Stanwood, has been with the district for nearly 30 years and retired as of May 1. She wrote numerous articles for the district’s publications, which are distributed to Snohomish County and Camano Island residents.

Ruskell started at the District as a dairy technician and planner then became the managing editor and steward of its Nexus publication for 25 years and more than 100 issues, receiving national recognition for her efforts, according to Kari Quaas, media specialist with the District.

Before joining the District, Ruskell co-managed a 200-acre dairy farm with 400 additional acres of crops in Minnesota. Lois also worked with the Extension Service in two states, managed a $5 million watershed project in the Prairie Pothole Region in the Midwest and was an ag fellow at the University of Minnesota.

Ruskell was recognized for her lifelong commitment to protecting and conserving this area’s natural resources, according to the award statement.

“I’m thankful for past generations’ efforts towards stewardship, but I know there is still more to do,” she said.

Other awards

During its annual Better Ground Showcase on April 25, Snohomish Conservation District also honored Pat Stevenson with the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians with a Lifetime Achievement Award and presented Conservation Leader of the Year awards to Housing Hope in Snohomish County and Dawn Pucci of Island County.

Stevenson is a tribe biologist, a primary architect of the 2005 Stillaguamish Chinook Recovery Plan, helped secure more than $20 million for salmon recovery work in the Stillaguamish Watershed and implemented dozens of engineered log jams in local rivers.

Pucci has helped Island County support salmon recovery in the Salish Sea for many years. She provided design and engineering review, construction support, permitting assistance, publicity and public engagement for the District’s Kristoferson Creek Fish Passage Project on Camano Island and led the Salmon Recovery Technical and Citizen Committee.

Housing Hope offers affordable housing opportunities, life-skills training, childcare, case management and employment services to residents in need in Stanwood and Snohomish County.

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