Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
TOGIAK: John Dyasuk wins 2012 Land Legacy Award
Alaska Region, November 21, 2012
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Refuge Interpreter Jon Dyasuk stands next to a map of Togiak Refuge.
Refuge Interpreter Jon Dyasuk stands next to a map of Togiak Refuge. - Photo Credit: USFWS
A close up of the 2012 Land Legacy Award.
A close up of the 2012 Land Legacy Award. - Photo Credit: USFWS

Togiak Refuge recently learned that one of their own was recognized for outstanding Service he has given to both Togiak and the Refuge System. Jon Dyasuk was selected as the winner for the 2012 Land Legacy Award, presented annually for significant contributions to the Service’s land acquisition systems, operation or mission. The Land Legacy award is presented annually to a Service employee or volunteer who does not officially work in a realty function.


Jon’s efforts on behalf of Togiak Refuge actually date back over most of the Refuge’s history. Jon has served as Refuge Interpreter since 1987, and has served in many phases of outreach and education during that time, in addition to the work he has done as interpreter and for realty efforts. Jon has been an invaluable asset to the Region 7 Realty branch by serving as the critical link between the Service and Refuge area landowners, the majority of whom are Yup’ik elders who do are not fluent in English. Jon has strong ties to all area communities and has been a very strong advocate of the Service in those communities. His background with village members and his strong Yup’ik language skills have allowed him to be extremely successful in his work. Also, those who know Jon know another reason why he has been as successful at what he does: Jon is a great guy who’s super easy to get along with and like, and he’s as honest as the Arctic summer solstice is long.

Jon was recognized for this award specifically for those skills and for the success he has had in contributing to the successful acquisition of lands located within Togiak Refuge, including many inholdings within Togiak’s 2.3 million acre Wilderness area. While transactions only happen with willing sellers, the acquisition of lands owned by Native Alaskans can still be a drawn-out and confusing process. The land acquisition program was started at Togiak in 1998. Since that time, the Refuge has added 49 allotments totaling almost 6000 acres. Jon has gone about his job with exceptional dedication, to both the landowners he interacts with and the Realty Specialists who work with him on behalf of acquisition. His efforts have very often made what could have been a difficult job relatively easy. The fact that he is greatly respected and well-liked by both sides of this process speaks volumes for Jon’s character and ethic, and this award recognizes that.

Contact Info: Terry Fuller, 907-842-1063 ext. 8419, terry_fuller@fws.gov
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