Chevron Conservation Award letter from Patrick F. Noonan, The Conservation Fund, honoring Dr. John H. Tanton

Chevron Conservation Award


November 29, 1989
William Roper
Public Affairs Office Chevron
575 Market Street

Dear Mr. Roper:

As a former President of The Nature Conservancy, it is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity to endorse Dr. John H. Tanton for a Chevron Conservation Award.

I have known Dr. Tanton for 15 years, and worked with him on several projects for the protection of valuable open space. He had a true naturalist's intimate knowledge of the topography of the region, and an unfailing sense of what would be ideal and what was possible, and the wisdom to distinguish between the two.

I was in close touch with Dr. Tanton as he organized the arguments, the people and the resources needed to form the Little Traverse Conservancy. Under his leadership, the Little Traverse Conservancy has become on of the most effective local land trusts in the country. It has managed to avoid many of the disputes that land conservation programs seem to attract, and quietly brought together the diverse interests of hunters, anglers, bird watchers, farmers, preservationists and business people. He was personally involved in every phase of building the land trust, from fund raising to negotiating, from calling meetings to giving speeches.

In my many years at the helm of a major national conservation group, I had the good fortune of meeting many capable individuals, quite a few of the deserving of special recognition. Among these exceptional people, John Tanton stands out, not only for his natural leadership qualities and willingness to work hard personally, but because he never had any sense of himself as doing anything remarkable. For John, the opportunity to preserve a legacy for generations yet to come has been its own reward, sufficient in all respects.

Should John be selected for this prestigious award, I am sure that he will be the most amazed of all your winners -- no doubt pleased but perplexed, protesting all the way that "Really, it was nothing."


Patrick F. Noonan

Copyright 2006-2022 Dr. John H. Tanton estate