(September 14, 2016)-
Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) recognized four individuals,
three state agencies and one private landowner for their dedication to
advancing fish and wildlife conservation at the Association’s Annual Awards
Ceremony held on September 13, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
SETH GORDON AWARD
the AFWA’s top honor, the Seth Gordon Award for lifetime achievement in
conserving North America’s natural resources in the public trust and
contributing to the programs of the Association.
name is iconic with the Association due to his number of leadership roles, his
level of impact, and help in uniting 50 states. As President of the Association
(2013-2014), Chair and Vice President of the Association’s Executive Committee
(2012-2013), and President of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife
Agencies (SEAFWA, 2008-2009), Dan was repeatedly entrusted to represent the
collective voice of his fellow Directors of state fish and wildlife agencies
and help guide the Association to affect positive change for the states and
their natural resources.
is a leader in conservation efforts across the continent, back in his home
state of Georgia, where he graduated from the University of Georgia with a
Master’s in Wildlife Biology, Dan started his career with the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division
the Georgia coast in 1990. He has now served our state for three decades. More
than one of those decades was spent serving as Director of WRD. WRD is
responsible for fishing opportunities for more than 1 million anglers, hunting
opportunities for more than 600,000 hunters on more than 1 million acres of
public land, and management of 111 Wildlife Management Areas, 10 Public Fishing
Areas, 10 fish hatcheries, 148 boat ramps, 17 shooting ranges, 16 archery
ranges, and 7 Regional Education Centers.
the greatest professional honor that I could ever receive, and I am truly
humble,” stated Dan Forster.
ERNEST THOMPSON SETON AWARD
Stream Team Program
received AFWA’s Ernest Thompson Seton Award for
leadership in promoting scientific wildlife management and is a great example
of how Missourians value conservation of fish, forests, and wildlife, and how
the Conservation Department, DNR, and Conservation Federation of Missouri work
with citizens to conserve our natural resources.
The Missouri Stream Team Program
citizen-led effort to conserve Missouri streams. Sponsored by the Missouri Department
of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the
Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM), the Stream Team Program focuses on
education, stewardship, and advocacy for Missouri stream resources. The Program provides supplies and technical
assistance to meet the needs of Stream Teams and their diverse individual
goals, and also recognizes Team accomplishments through social media,
newsletters, certificates, and awards.
Missouri Stream Team is a national leader in volunteer stream
stewardship efforts thanks to the creativity and determination of its members
and strong agency support.
last 25 years, the Missouri Stream Team Program has grown to over 5,000 active
Stream Teams consisting of an estimated 90,000 volunteers working to conserve
Missouri’s rivers and streams. Since
1989, Stream Teams have been an impassioned voice for the protection of streams
that Missourians rely on for clean drinking water, quality fishing, and first-class
recreational opportunities. The Program merits recognition for its achievement
in engaging citizens to act on behalf of Missouri streams.
believe the success of the Program is due to the passion and dedication of
Missouri citizens combined with providing them the resources to get involved at
the level they desire,” said Sherry Fischer,
Stream Services Program Supervisor with the Missouri Department of
Conservation. “We provide guidance but
allow them to develop their ‘Team’ into what they envision. The collaborative
nature of this partnership creates a supportive family atmosphere which
facilitates and grows volunteer involvement over time.”
MARK REEFF MEMORIAL AWARD
, the Climate Change Coordinator with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
received the Mark Reeff Memorial Award for outstanding young wildlife
management professional under 35. AFWA recognized Palmeri for her persistent,
professional, and produces results for a challenging portfolio.
overwhelmed,” stated Davia Palmeri. I am
honored to work with people in the state agencies and get to do this work on a
national scale at such a young age.”
PRIVATE LANDS FISH AND WILDLIFE STEWARDSHIP AWARD
This year’s recipient of AFWA’s Private Lands Fish and Wildlife
Stewardship Award—Paul Tudor Jones
, owner of the Blue Valley Ranch
conservation ranch that runs cattle and bison and prioritizes wildlife.
The vision of Blue Valley Ranch is to cultivate a natural landscape of healthy,
resilient ecosystems that support a diversity of wildlife. The ranch is a model of resource integration
for conservation, land stewardship, agricultural production and guest services.
and the staff of Blue Valley Ranch have been tremendous partners for Colorado
Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Together, Blue
Valley and CPW have introduced several wildlife species on the ranch, all with
great success. Both entities were also
key players in initiating and helping to secure funding for the CO State Hwy 9
Safety Project, which began construction last year. The project features 7 wildlife crossings,
including 2 overpasses, and was the direct result of a grassroots-level effort
to build a private-public partnership to fund and design the project.
Steuben, the ranch’s general manager, commented on receiving the award that
“Blue Valley Ranch is honored to have been selected for this recognition, and
our thanks go to the AFWA. Our
accomplishments come from a visionary landowner, a dedicated staff, and
establishing trusting relationships with local agencies. We plan to continue this tradition of
cooperation and excellence in conservation for many years to come.”
CONSERVATION LAW ENFORCEMENT AWARD
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources- Law Enforcement Public
was selected as the 2016 Conservation Law Enforcement Award
recipient for providing outreach efforts that serve to educate the public about
the job that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division performs as well as
improve overall public relations.
The SC Department of Natural Resources
Enforcement Division has worked very hard in recent years to improve public
relations. In today’s landscape that has
become somewhat detached from the outdoors, it is more important than ever to
educate the public about the importance of wildlife conservation as well as
cultivate support for outdoor activities that include hunting, fishing, and
recreational shooting. Words like
recruitment, retention, and reactivation have become the cornerstone of agency
efforts to remain relevant in today’s society.
Because of this, the SCDNR Law Enforcement Division has developed
groundbreaking outreach programs to reach the people of South Carolina.
“Our public relations team serves to education the public about the job that
the Law Enforcement Division performs as well as improve overall public
relations,” said Colonel Chisolm Frampton, South Carolina Department of Natural
Resources Law Enforcement Division.
“Their ability to think outside the box with innovative ideas like our
100 Deadliest Days of Summer PSA, minority outreach programs, interactive video
simulation trailers and community fishing rodeos have proven to be very
successful in today’s difficult landscape.”.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDS
the Association presented two special recognition awards for outstanding
commitment to the work of AFWA to Roy
and the Georgia Plant
last fifteen years, Mr. Roy Grimes
the efforts of the National Archery in the Schools Program, or NASP
®. Roy, who had served Fish & Wildlife Agencies in
Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and finally Kentucky was asked by KY Commissioner Tom
Bennett to develop what would later be called “NASP®.” NASP®, an international-style target archery
program, was designed to achieve specific and targeted educational and
conservation related goals.
spent 30 years as a state wildlife agency biologist, I consider members of
AFWA, my peers,” said Roy Grimes, President of NASP. “It is a terrific honor to have the National
Archery in the Schools Program® recognized by AFWA professionals for its
efforts to establish millions of student archers every year.”
Plant Conservation Alliance
is a network of 40 state and federal agencies,
public botanical gardens, universities, utility companies and conservation
organizations committed to preserving the state’s rare flora. Members
helped develop and revise the Georgia State Wildlife Action Plan – the guiding
strategy for alliance recovery projects targeting 100 imperiled plant species –
and the network has become a model for others, noted state Department of
Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams.
“GPCA has proven incredibly effective in focusing and
increasing efforts to conserve Georgia’s rare plant species and their
habitats,” Williams said. “Not only is this work benefiting our state, other
states are considering setting up alliances, meaning plant conservation in
those states will reap from what the GPCA has sown in Georgia.”