Daniel J. Evans Nisqually Stewardship Award

The Daniel J. Evans Nisqually Stewardship Award was created by the Nisqually River Council to honor individuals and organizations that have had a significant impact on the Nisqually Watershed. The award was named for Governor Daniel J. Evans, in recognition of the fact that during his administration attention first turned to the Nisqually as a special place that needed protection. The creation of the Nisqually River Council can be traced back to that time. The award is given once every five years, with two pieces of artwork commissioned to honor each recipient. One piece is given to the recipient, while the other becomes part of the permanent collection of the Nisqually River Foundation. The works are currently displayed in the Norm Dicks Visitor Center at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

The inaugural award was presented in 2007 to Billy Frank Jr., followed by Congressman Norm Dicks in 2012. On September 4, 2019, Jim Wilcox received the third award in recognition of his decades of service as a leading landowner and conservation partner in the watershed.

The Nisqually River Foundation extends a warm thank-you to the generous sponsors, guests, and other donors who participated in the 2019 Evans Event. Proceeds from the evening support the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to implementing the Nisqually Watershed Stewardship plan and fostering a healthy watershed through partnerships, engaging volunteers, and providing educational opportunities. Your support enables us to do water quality and habitat improvement projects and engage students and volunteers in innovative programs throughout the watershed.

To donate directly to the Nisqually River Foundation in Jim’s honor, please use our Paypal Giving Fund link (credit cards accepted, no PayPal account necessary) any time. 

About Jim Wilcox

Jim WilcoxJim Wilcox received the Nisqually Stewardship Award in 2019,in honor of his lifetime of stewardship and contributions to the communities of the Nisqually River Basin. Jim grew up working on Wilcox Family Farms, a family business founded in 1909 by his great-grandparents and now in its 5th generation. The Wilcox family has always been profoundly grateful for and deeply protective of the natural world that gave them their home on the Nisqually. With his brother and business partner Barrie, Jim has carried forward that legacy, implementing innovative farming practices that contributed to the health of the river and making Wilcox Farms an environmental leader.

NRF board members David Troutt, Fred Michelson, Bill Bryant, and honoree Jim Wilcox stand with Gov. Dan Evans and Executive Director Justin Hall with salmon artwork for Jim's award.Jim served as a founding member of the Nisqually River Council and has remained active in many Nisqually river activities, including encouraging his son JT to be the founding Vice President of the Nisqually Land Trust and then his granddaughter Katie to join that board as the first 2nd generation member. In 2013, Jim was appointed by the Governor to be on the board of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council. Jim has served with great dedication in promoting the mission of preserving and improving the health of Puget Sound and the restoration of salmon runs, especially in his beloved Nisqually River Basin. Jim’s leadership by example is convincing proof that conservation and business goals can be harmonized in pursuit of long-term sustainability. We are delighted to recognize his years of service and advocacy with this award.

Past Award Honorees:

2012 – Norm Dicks

Norm Dicks Nisqually Stewardship Award, 2012

The second recipient of the Daniel J. Evans Nisqually Stewardship Award was Congressman Norm Dicks. While in Congress, Norm worked tirelessly on natural resource issues and salmon recovery, both of which benefited the Nisqually directly. His accomplishments include assisting in the expansion and restoration of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The piece of artwork above was created by local artist Trent Hart. The piece is a male raku-fired Chinook salmon on a base of smoke-fired tiles.

2012 Evans Award Presentation


  • Bill Bryant & Barbara Feasey
  • Cal-Portland
  • Kongsgaard-Goldman
  • Lakeside Industries
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe
  • Ramtha School of Enlightenment
  • Stewardship Partners
  • Wilcox Family Farms

2007 – Billy Frank Jr.

Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually Stewardship Award, 2007

The first recipient of the Daniel J. Evans Nisqually Stewardship Award was Billy Frank Jr. Billy was born on the Nisqually River and spent his life fishing and defending the right of tribal members to fish on the river, as well as spearheading efforts to make sure that the salmon survive and prosper. The piece of artwork above was created by local artist Trent Hart. The piece is a male and female raku-fired chum salmon on a base of smoke-fired tiles.


  • Bill Bryant & Barbara Feasey
  • Citizens Restoring the Ohop Watershed
  • Glacier Northwest
  • Green Diamond Resource Company
  • JZK Inc.
  • Lakeside Industries
  • Long Live The Kings
  • Miles Sand & Gravel
  • Nisqually Delta Association
  • Paladin Data Systems
  • Stewardship Partners
  • Weyerhaeuser
  • William Ruckelshaus