Media Archive

Annual Tour and Banquet well attended

Article from The Eastern Gazette, Vol. 148, No. 34, August 24, 2002

Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District Chairman Stephen Hobart (right) presents the Outstanding Conservation Teacher 2002 award to Daniel Huri, a middle school science teacher from MSAD # 41 in Milo.

PARKMAN - The Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District hosted their Annual Tour and Banquet on Tuesday, August 13. Each year the district recognizes a Cooperator of the Year and an Outstanding Conservation Teacher of the Year. Cooperators are landowners who implement conservation practices on their property. This year's award winners are a group of owners who acquired hundreds of acres of land over many years and manage to work together toward land and wildlife management goals. Many fine examples of Best/ Management Practices were on display for about 45 tour guests who braved the hot summer sun.

The event was held at the Deane/Ruksznis property at the end of Gilman Road, off the Wellington Road in Parkman. A history of the property was given by Peter Deane, followed by a tour of some property improvements by Tom Ruksznis. A GPS demonstration was put on by Gordon Moore of the Maine Forest Service.

The original partners were the late Edgar Boardway and Kenneth Tripp, along with Austin Deane and Paul Ruksznis. Over the years they have acquired 900-plus acres of land in the Parkman area.. Much of the land management has now been passed down to their sons, Brad, Pete and Ryan -Deane and Tom and Frank Ruksznis.

"We've done several Timber Stand Improvement projects," Ruksznis said. "And we did a major erosion project a couple of years ago. We've tried numerous wood cutting projects... hand crews and mechanical types...with all sorts of failures and successes." The owners still plant trees, and are currently doing work to their fields for wildlife management.

The Outstanding Teacher of the Year is Daniel Huri from MSAD 41 in Milo. Huri has taught middle school science in the Milo area since the 1970s, and also involves students in a wetlands project each year.

Huri was nominated for the award by Penquis Valley Guidance Counselor Philip Brown, who said'his two-page nomination letter was a compilation of favorable staff comments about the teacher.

"The impact of Mr. Huri's teaching and his relationships with his students, based on honesty, respect, humor and high expectations, can be seen daily," Brown wrote.

Both award winners received framed certificates at a ceremony during the catered picnic lunch. Huri also received a gift certificate good toward books or other educational supplies and the Deane/Ruksznis families were presented with a large wooden sign identifying their project as Cooperator of the Year.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.