Natural resource leaders nominated for top gong 

Steve and Geraldine Janicke have been nominated for this year’s GSDC Medal For Excellence in Natural Resource Management.  (Supplied: GSDC)

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Three of the region’s leading natural resource managers are in line to win the Great Southern Development Commission Medal next week.

The GSDC Medal for Excellence in Natural Resource Management is a prestigious award which honours someone who has shown leadership and innovation in managing the region’s natural resources.

Alongside the medal, which is awarded every second year, the award includes a grant from the GSDC to further support the work the recipient already conducts in the field.

This year’s shortlisted nominees are Bev Lockley, Steve and Geraldine Janicke and Ruhi Ferdowsian.

Bev Lockley. 

Ms Lockley is a Katanning landholder and businesswoman who was nominated for her work volunteering with Landcare groups while running an environmentally friendly and sustainable business.

Alongside her passion for Katanning tourism, art and history, Ms Lockley also visits local schools to talk about how to reduce plastic and waste in the environment.

Mr and Mrs Janicke are Frankland River-based educators and consultants who were collectively nominated for their research on the region’s waterways and catchments.

The power couple have either walked or canoed through the majority of the south coast’s waterways to collect information about the water quality and ecosystem.

Ruhi Ferdowsian. 

Mr Ferdowsian is a long-serving hydrologist who has been nominated for his contributions to water research and combating the region’s water salinity issues.

Through developing his own analytical tools and software, Mr Ferdowsian has been able to help reduce the impact of salinity on landscapes by providing farmers with the tools and knowledge to combat the issue.

“The GSDC Medal is part of the GSDC’s long-term commitment to supporting innovation and leadership in Great Southern natural resource management,” GSDC CEO Natasha Monks said.

“GSDC is delighted to celebrate these finalists and their outstanding contributions to this field of endeavour.”

Cranbrook farmer Ian Walsh was the last recipient to be awarded the top gong in 2019 after being nominated for his unwavering fight against salinity in the region.

Mr Walsh put the funding he received towards trialling grey saltbush plants, which is a salt-tolerant species used to help reclaim degraded land.

Over 4,000 grey saltbush seedlings are currently being propagated to be planted in degraded land in spring. 

The 2021 GSDC Medal will be awarded to one of the three nominees at a presentation dinner at the Albany Entertainment Centre on June 11.

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