Conservation Hall of Fame to induct three


The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame (WCHF) will honor three new leaders who have contributed much to Wisconsin’s Conservation Legacy. This year’s ceremony will honor Hugh Iltis, Christine Thomas and Millie Zantow beginning at 10AM on Saturday, April 22nd, at the Sentry Theater in Stevens Point. The public is invited.

The inductees this year reflect the important role of conservation organizations, universities, governments and industries, and significantly, the contributions of women to conservation and environmental quality in Wisconsin and nationally:

Hugh Iltis was a distinguished scientist, teacher, environmentalist and passionate spokesperson for conservation. He co-founded The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin served on its Board, provided technical and scientific advice on acquisitions, and worked with landowners to protect some of Wisconsin’s most unique ecosystems.

Christine Thomas has promoted the cause of conservation in Wisconsin and the nation through her contributions to higher education, research, natural resource policy, and the advancement of citizen participation in Wisconsin’s rich conservation heritage. Her efforts to promote the involvement of women in outdoor activities and conservation efforts helped found the international program known as Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program.

Millie Zantow, a grandmother and citizen activist from North Freedom, helped launch the recycling revolution in Wisconsin and the nation. She provided advice on setting up recycling programs to municipalities all over the country and internationally and helped develop the “chasing arrows” symbol we see on plastic containers and products to be recycled.

The event begins at 9AM with a coffee reception, followed by the program at 10AM at the Sentry Theater in the Sentry Insurance Headquarters, 1800 North Point Drive in Stevens Point. The ceremony includes tributes by invited speakers and the presentation of recognition plaques which will be displayed permanently in the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame (WCHF) Gallery located in the Schmeeckle Reserve. A12:00NOON luncheon at the nearby Sentry World complex will conclude the day’s activities. Luncheon reservations are $25 and can be made on-line at or by calling 715-346-4992 (Schmeeckle Reserve Visitor Center).

Reflecting on the new inductees, WCHF President, Joe Passineau, said: “Although conservation has historically been championed by men, such as Hugh Iltis, the WCHF now recognizes 12 women as inductees including Christine Thomas and Millie Zantow. Both, in their own unique way, have contributed greatly to conservation in Wisconsin and internationally.”

The WCHF and its Visitor Center, located in the Schmeeckle Reserve at 2419 North Point Drive in Stevens Point, was established in 1985 to advance the conservation legacy of Wisconsin and now recognizes 89 leaders who have contributed significantly. WCHF is a cooperative venture of 31 state-wide conservation organizations. Individuals may be nominated for induction by member organizations or by the public. Based on a set of criteria, nominees are selected for induction by the WCHF Board of Directors and an independent Board of Governors.  See

See the life stories of the WCHF Inductees by visiting WCHF in Stevens Point or by exploring our website: You can also view segments of previous Induction Ceremonies by going to and searching WCHF Inductions.



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Justin R. Mitchell

Justin is the founding editor of the Oshkosh Independent.

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