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John M. Collier Award for Forest History Journalism

John M. Collier (d. 1987) was a New Orleans journalist skilled in many areas of communication, including advertising and sales promotion and public, government, and media relations. He was a working scholar and a prolific writer of articles and special features for forest industry press publications. Established to honor the memory of Collier, the Forest History Society's (FHS) John M. Collier Award encourages excellence in journalism that treats forest and conservation history.

Collier Award Details

From its establishment in 1987 through the year 2002, the Collier Award annually recognized the author of the best article or series of articles on forest and conservation history published in newspapers, trade press publications, or general circulation magazines. In the year 2002, FHS redesigned the award to better reach the growing number of journalists writing about conservation and environmental topics. We provided financial support for an Institutes for Journalism in Natural Resources (IJNR) expedition along with an expenses paid visit to the FHS headquarters in Durham, North Carolina for the selected winner.

Beginning in 2011, the Collier Award will return to its original submission and evaluation process and request article submissions from relevant sources of publication. Additionally, authors, editors, and the general public are welcome to send any article that fits the award criteria to the FHS offices. Entries must be postmarked no later than March 15th for the previous year (i.e, 2011 articles for award year 2012). Author, publisher, and date of article must be included.

The award is open to any newspaper or general circulation magazine; professional or freelance journalist in North America. Online-only publications are accepted for this competition.

The winning article will receive a $1,000 prize along with the option to either visit the Forest History Society Library and Archives or arrange for the presentation of the award plaque at a mutually agreed upon meeting or convention.

Recent Recipients

2010 Collier Award
There was no award given for the year 2010.

2009 Collier Award
Michael Jamison, a Flathead Valley bureau reporter for the Missoulian (circulation 300,000) since 1997, won the 2009 Collier Award. With a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in journalism, both from the University of Montana, he is a general-assignment reporter who must gather all kinds of news in a large geographic territory that includes Plum Creek Timber, Glacier National Park, the U.S. Forest Service, and Flathead National Forest. Over the years, Jamison has had a strong, sustained interest in covering forests and their history, ecology, and management.

2008 Collier Award
There was no award given for the year 2008.

2007 Collier Award
There was no award given for the year 2007.

2006 Collier Award
Jeffrey Barnard from Grants Pass, Oregon is the southern Oregon correspondent for the Associated Press, having worked for the AP since 1983. He is responsible for stories and photos of general interest in southern Oregon, with a particular focus on the environment. He was named first AP state environmental writer, 2003. His longstanding areas of coverage include salmon restoration, forests management, wildfire, Klamath Basin water, and commercial fishing.

2005 Collier Award
Michelle Nijhuis is a contributing editor of the environmental journal High Country News and a correspondent for Orion, and her work has appeared in publications including Smithsonian, Salon.com, The Christian Science Monitor, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones, Sierra, Audubon, and the anthology Best American Science Writing. She wrote an engaging and informative history of dendrochronology (tree-ring research) for High Country News (Jan. 24, 2005).

2004 Collier Award
Zachary Coile, a Washington correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle, won the 2004 Collier Award. Coile regularly pursues stories related to natural resource issues and has recently been writing about forest thinning practices and mill operations in the Tongass National Forest of Alaska--work that directly resulted from his FHS-sponsored attendance at the IJNR Midnight Sun Institute held in Alaska in July 2003. FHS congratulates him for demonstrating a serious interest in forest and conservation issues and for showing outstanding professional growth in journalism.

2003 Collier Award
The 2003 Collier Award went to Isak Howell, a staff writer for the Roanoke Times (Roanoke, Virginia) who covers news and features about a local municipal government while also pursuing stories about environmental and natural resource issues. Howell works with his editors to ensure the newspaper maintains cohesive natural resource coverage. He has authored news stories on such topics as water quality and management, forest planning on the Jefferson National Forest, outbreaks of gypsy moth infestations, and severe drought conditions in western Virginia. He attended the IJNR Low Country Institute held in 2002.