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OWAC is a non-profit association of media professionals who communicate the vast array of outdoor recreational opportunities and related issues
in California and the surrounding western region.
The Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) awarded the coveted “Outdoor Writer of the Year” for 2015 to John Poimiroo at their annual Spring Conference held in Placer County. Exemplifying the versatility required of the modern professional outdoor communicator, Poimroo displayed his excellence in multiple formats.
His Mountain Democrat “California Rambling” earned top honors in the Best Outdoor Newspaper Column category, showcasing his grasp of the traditional format. The judges said the columns demonstrated clever writing and interesting topics.
Poimroo, a former PR professional who has turned to outdoor reporting full time, was also recognized for an interview he did with “On Travel,” the short format outdoor radio show produced by Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, for his photo series “Southern California’s Lake Tahoe: Big Bear,” and for Best Outdoor Internet Site, CaliforniaFallColor.com.
Other winners in the OWAC Excellence in Craft competition for works produced in 2015 include:
Best Outdoor Medium: Osceola Refetoff and Christopher Langley, “High and Dry”
Best Outdoor Series: Gary Graham, “Magdalena Bay: Baja’s Last Frontier”
Best Outdoor Newspaper Feature: Denis Pierce, “For the Love of the Sport”
Best Outdoor Magazine Feature: Bob Gaines, “Pyramid Lake, Nevada, Discovery and Rebirth”
Best Outdoor Magazine Column: Steve T. Callan, “On Patrol”
Best Outdoor Newsletter: Rick Copeland, The Wilderness Unlimited
Best Outdoor Book: Inga Aksamit, Highs and Lows on the John Muir Trail
Best Outdoor Feature Photograph: Osceola Refetoff, “Sky, Whitecaps, Earth, Halobacteria”
Best Outdoor Action Photograph: Gary Graham, “Bisbee’s Black and Blue Tournament”
Best Outdoor Radio Show: John Henigin, Fish Talk Radio
Best Outdoor Radio Feature: Thomas C. Wilmer, “Saving Cecils – African Photographic Safaris”
Best Outdoor TV Show: Mike Ritz, Adventures South of the Border
Best Outdoor Video Short: Simo Nylander and Thomas Wilmer, “Morro Bay Estuary Water Quality”
Best Outdoor Video Standard: Simo Nylander and Thomas Wilmer, “Bay Stories – Morro Bay National Marine Estuary”
Best Outdoor Internet Article: Greg Niemann, “The Big Tuna and the Storm”
Phil Ford Humor Award: Mike McKenna, “In Search of Drunken Bob’s Secret Fishing Hole”
John Reginato Conservation Award: Gary Graham, “Turtle Tableau”
OWAC, established in 1986, is a non-profit association of media professionals who communicate the vast array of outdoor recreational opportunities and related issues in California and the surrounding western region. The membership includes newspaper and magazine staffers, freelance writers, book authors, radio broadcasters, video producers, editors, photographers, artists, lecturers and information officers.
Stories have begun to pour in from OWAC members' adventures at the Spring Conference in Placer County. See below for links to what has come in so far, and then send your story links in, too!
Hardy catches 8.4-pound largemouth bass — by Bill Ryan
Rafting and reflecting on the American River — Steve Callan
Old town Auburn, portrait of a gold rush town — Jack Eidt
California’s outdoor writers flock to Auburn, Placer County — Gus Thomson
Rafting on the Middle Fork of the American River — Ron Erskine
Fun Fishing and Farm Ponds — Carol Martens
Fishing Folsom Lake — Denis Peirce