Washington D.C. (9/15/2016) - The membership of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies today elected Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as its new president during AFWA's 106th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
In accepting AFWA's presidency, Wiley reflected on the critical importance of the two recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources including the Recovering America's Wildlife Act and strengthening the relevancy of fish and wildlife agencies. These efforts represent the biggest conservation initiative of our respective careers.
“I am deeply honored to serve our colleagues and partners in this role as AFWA President at a time when we need strong collaboration and partnerships more than ever,” said Nick Wiley, Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and 2016-2017 AFWA President. “While we are fortunate to have abundant populations of fish and wildlife for anglers, hunters and wildlife watchers to enjoy, we are facing a crisis with many species that are becoming imperiled on our watch. While we are all working as hard as we can to help these species, our basic model for conservation funding at the state level is not sufficient to turn this troubling tide. AFWA is well positioned to help support a new awakening to the great value and relevancy of fish and wildlife conservation, and I pledge a full measure of energy and enthusiasm to this worthy cause.”
Wiley urged his colleagues to actively tell the great story of how conservation is successfully delivered by dedicated fish and wildlife resource professionals across North America. He also praised the coordinating action and capability of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and the regional fish and wildlife agencies' associations; recognized professionals across the country for their tireless dedication to conservation; and he held a moment of silence for those fallen heroes who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2016.
Wiley will serve as AFWA President through September 2017.
"Nick Wiley is a true leader and a conservation visionary who will leave a lasting imprint on our organization," said Dave Chanda, Director of New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and the 2015-2016 President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. "He understands the vital role played by state and provincial wildlife managers in the conservation of North American species and habitats, and we are confident President Wiley will excel at representing both fish and wildlife conservation professionals and the North American species we hold in trust."
Nick is a Certified Wildlife Biologist employed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) as Executive Director. He has over 30 years of professional experience in fish and wildlife conservation, mostly in Florida, and has served as a field biologist and in a leadership capacity in various FWC programs including alligator management, small-game management, conservation lands management, and agency policy and administration. Nick has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Georgia Southern University and a Master of Science Degree in Wildlife Science from Auburn University. He is a Fellow of the National Conservation Leadership Institute and a professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club.