Jasper Carlton pioneered the assertive, science based advocacy that is the hallmark of Rocky Mountain Wild. Each year, the Jasper Carlton Activist in the Trenches Award recognizes a dedicated, unsung activist, who is passionate and uncompromising in defense of wildlife, habitat and plants.
This year, our Activist in the Trenches Award goes to an individual who is on the front lines of the effort to protect wildlife and wild lands in Utah and the intermountain west, Allison Jones, executive director of the Wild Utah Project.
We have worked with Allison for more than 15 years now. She is a tireless, fearless, incredibly effective and passionate advocate for flora and fauna in Utah. Whether fighting to save Gunnison and greater sage-grouse from extinction, working to restore wolves to Utah, or being a friend to under-appreciated species like the least chub, mussentuchit gilia and spotted frog, Alison stays positive day in and day out, year after year, working to conserve wildlife against seemingly insurmountable odds . Alison is an intelligent, thoughtful, witty and articulate blue spark of a woman in a vast red Utah sea.
Alison is a talented scientist and is well respected by policy makers, colleagues, and opponents alike because she always uses the most current scientific research to back up her positions on policy issues. She knows her stuff and walks the talk. When there isn’t enough research to inform policy questions, Alison gets out into the field and uses sound methods to develop the highest quality science. She carries on an important tradition of employing empirical research to question the status quo and improve land management. Her publications and field work have been critical to efforts to reform management of public lands across Utah and the West for more than 15 years.
Allison makes a superb spokesperson for wildlife and for wild Utah. She steps up to every opportunity to speak to the public, and she does so with a clear, approachable, reasonable, strong voice. She is not easily intimidated and has testified effectively before the Utah legislature numerous times on behalf of many species, as well as on behalf of the protection and management Utah’s flora and fauna through the use of scientific principles.
Alison exudes kindness and genuine respect for others. Whether a coworker, collaborator, friend or stranger, she appreciates people and pays attention, getting to know who people are, whether they’re Moab locals who share expertise of places and plants, or agency employees who try to manage with science. This naturally makes her an effective advocate and valuable partner to any conservation effort.
Alison manages to do all this while raising a wonderful daughter.
If you are lucky enough to one day watch a sage-grouse dancing at sunrise, listen to wolves howl at the moon, watch rare wildflowers light up the desert with color, or wander through wild country filled with abundant wildlife in Utah, send a quiet thanks to Allison, because there is a good chance she has had a hand in protecting the ground that you stand on.