Actor Harrison Ford received the 2016 Murie Spirit of Conservation Award, adding a wow factor to the event.
Chris Agnew, executive director of Teton Science Schools, said Ford was being recognized for his remarkable body of work on behalf of conservation globally and in the valley and that he respected Ford’s “authenticity.”
In 1985 Ford signed the first of what would become nine conservation easements to protect his 800-acre ranch southwest of Jackson while creating open space and providing a safe habitat in an ecologically rich area.
He has also been involved with the board of Conservation International for almost 25 years and currently serves as vice chair.
“His work comes from conviction,” Agnew said, before playing a Ford-narrated clip in “Nature is Speaking,” Conservation International’s award-winning film.
The overarching theme? Nature doesn’t need people, but people need nature.
Ford’s acceptance speech began humbly, as he thanked all the staff at Conservation International and said he didn’t want to be a “poster child.” He then told the crowd how he came to Jackson Hole by accident but, like many, fell in love with this “vision of paradise” and was anxious to find a way of giving back.