Spokane – Valley County Commissioner Gordon Cruickshank was awarded the prestigious Dale Sowards Award at the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Western Interstate Region (WIR) Conference in Spokane County, Washington, during the closing ceremonies on Friday, May 17, 2019. The purpose of the award is to recognize individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to public lands counties and to draw attention to the public policies they represent.
Commissioner Cruickshank was recognized by his peers from throughout 15 Western states for his 12 years of outstanding leadership and service to counties throughout the Western Interstate Region, including a term as WIR president in 2015-2016.
WIR President Kevin Cann, a Mariposa County, Calif. supervisor, highlighted Cruickshank’s advocacy on behalf of the Secure Rural Schools and Payments in Lieu of Taxes programs his hours of congressional testimony in support of the program.
“He is an outstanding example of what it means to be a public servant,” Cann said, noting that Cruickshank uses his position to educate and inform constituents and fellow county officials of issues critical to public lands counties.
Cruickshank was nominated by the Idaho State Association of Counties because of his tenure, engagement and significant accomplishments associated with natural resources and public lands at the local, state and federal level.
Cruickshank is a WIR past president and serves on NACo’s executive committee as its West region representative.
Cruickshank has been a tireless advocate for counties before Congress, the White House and federal agencies. He is a national leader in advocating for the federal payments Payment In Lieu of Taxes and Secure Rural Schools programs that compensate counties for large amounts of federal public lands and forests within their borders. His peers and federal policymakers often look to Cruickshank for guidance on matters related to public lands, endangered species, environmental stewardship, infrastructure, and community resilience. Cruickshank is also a 2012 graduate of NACo’s County Leadership Institute.