HFF Annual Awards

Manlove Award: Robert Dotson

Raised by a professional wildlife photographer and fisheries biologist, Robert Dotson  learned at an early age to process 4x5 negatives blindfolded and to shake and strain fixer in a darkroom. But his education also included hunting rattlesnakes on remote Texas roads, trapping kangaroo rats and lassoing lizards with fly rods in southern Utah, stalking bugling bull elk in Yellowstone, and watching high desert Arizona fields explode with springtime wildflowers—all to ensure Dad got ‘the shot.’ 

Somewhere along the road, he veered from the outdoor exploration of his youth to chase other adventures. That road led to his amazing wife Kelli, five children, and a dynamic career in technology leading a major North American phone company for 15 years during the explosive growth of wireless digital technology.

During his career, when time outdoors was limited, he never lost his craving to explore and capture the creative excitement of all things nature that passed in front of his Nikon. Since retiring in 2011, Robert and Kelli live in Northern Utah and spend as much time as possible at their second home on the banks of the Henry’s Fork north of Ashton, Idaho. They chase waning light, elusive trout, and the creative experiences of his youth in the far off reaches of New Zealand, Patagonia, Japan, Alaska, and the otherworldly places closer to home that hold his greatest love--the back roads of the Rocky Mountains.

Robert has been a member of the Henry’s Fork Foundation since 2005, served on the board and as board chairman, and is a life member and a member of the Wild Trout Club, Legacy level. His photographs are a mainstay of HFF auctions and are featured on the Foundation website and in its publications. 

Conservation Award: Cross Charitable Foundation

C. Walker Cross was the eldest child of Elias George Cross and Florence Hoxer Cross. The Crosses and Hoxers were early Ogden, Utah, pioneers. Walker learned the motel business and a love of the outdoors from his father. Both father and son spent years together in business and shared time afield, hunting and fishing throughout the Mountain West. Through this, Walker learned to appreciate the outdoors and wanted to help preserve it for generations to come.

His formal education was interrupted by his having to become involved in the family business, but he still recognized the value and importance of education and encouraged the pursuit of it as one of the keys to a successful life.

Walker's astute business acumen made him successful in the fields of motels and real estate. He was fun-loving, hard-working, and desired to help the world become a better place. The Cross Charitable Foundation is his legacy.

The Henry’s Fork Foundation has been a recipient of a number of grants from the Cross Charitable Foundation over the years, making it possible for HFF to continue and to expand its research and restoration projects.


Volunteer Award: Matt Lyon

Since the Henry’s Fork Foundation implemented its Trout in the Classroom program in 2012, its success has relied heavily on the volunteer work of Ashton Elementary fifth-grade teacher Matt Lyon.

The program teaches the fifth-graders about the life cycle of fish in the Henry’s Fork as they hatch trout from eggs provided by Idaho Fish and Game and watch them develop until they are released in the wild in the spring.

 Matt has been involved in the program from the beginning. He took over the primary responsibility for the program earlier this year after the departure of Anne Marie Emery from the Foundation. His enthusiasm for the program is evident in his hands-on leadership and his hard work to maintain and sustain it. That same enthusiasm can be seen in the students and it stays with them outside of school and gives them a solid appreciation of the resource throughout their lives.