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2004 Conservation Awards


DU Recognizes Conservation Excellence Among its Partners

Memphis, March 26, 2004 – Officials from Ducks Unlimited announced the winners of DU's 2004 Conservation Achievement Awards and the State Grant Awards at the 69th Annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Spokane, Washington on March 19th.

DU's Conservation Achievement Awards recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the restoration and protection of North America's wetlands and waterfowl habitats. The awards are presented in six categories. This year's winners are:



Federal Representative

Congressman Norman Dicks, 6th District, Washington State

Federal Agency

Carey Smith, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Richard Bishop, Chief, Wildlife Bureau of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources


Stephen P. Havera, Illinois Natural History Surveys' Forbes Biological Station

Private Citizen

William R. Ireland, Sr., Alabama


Robert A. Drieslein, Editor, Outdoor News, and host of KFAN Radio Saturday Morning Outdoors Show

DU also announced the three recipients of its State Grant Awards, which recognize state agency partners who have reached significant milestones in their contributions to conserve waterfowl breeding habitat in critical areas of Canada. These funds are matched by DU, matched again by the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and finally put on the ground together with Canadian funds, ultimately leveraging the State dollars more than four to one.

The recipients of DU's State Program Awards are:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources , which has been a DU partner since 1973. This year they provided over $50,000, surpassing the milestone of $1 million in contributions to waterfowl habitat in Canada. For its contributions, the Department received DU's Gold State Grant Award.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which has been a state grant program partner since 1985. Their contribution of $100,000 this year advanced them above the $1 million donation level. For its contributions, the Department received DU's Gold State Grant Award.

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, which has been a partner in the program since 1977. With their grant of $60,000 this year, they exceeded the $500,000 level, earning the Department a Silver State Grant Award.

Dr. Alan Wentz, DU's Group Manager for Conservation Programs, presented the awards. "Each of these individuals and agencies have made a significant, positive difference in the effort to conserve North America's waterfowl habitats," said Wentz. "It is both a privilege and a pleasure to recognize such outstanding partners in conservation."

For more information on award recipients, log on to www.ducks.org . With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation group. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands – nature's most productive ecosystems – and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres every year.

Contact: Laura Houseal
(901) 758-3764


Look for Ducks Unlimited on the World Wide Web at www.ducks.org . Tune in to The World of Ducks Unlimited Radio Network, and watch, Ducks Unlimited Television on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN).

2004 Conservation Achievement Award Winners

Federal Representative: Congressman Norm Dicks

Congressman Dicks has been a stalwart supporter of several programs important to North America's waterfowl resource for many years. Among these are funding for national and international programs implementing the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, including the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), increased operations and management funds for National Wildlife Refuges and acquisition funds for wildlife refuges. As the senior minority member on the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, Mr. Dicks has not only supported these programs, he has strongly opposed reductions in funding to programs such as NAWCA.

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Federal Agency: Carey S. Smith

Carey Smith retired from Federal Service this past January after 30 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force, he became a pilot/biologist with the Office of Migratory Bird Management. He flew waterfowl surveys from the Yucatan to the Yukon, trapped and banded over 10,000 ducks, and coordinated inter-agency waterfowl surveys throughout major portions of the West. In 1982, he transferred to the Portland Regional Office where he eventually became the Chief of the Division of Biological Support in Refuges. He served as the Pacific Coast Joint Venture coordinator from 1990 until his retirement. Mr. Smith has been the recipient of several awards for his accomplishments, including the Department of the Interior's Superior Service Award in 2000. He serves on various other conservation advisory committees in the Pacific Northwest.

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State/Provincial: Richard A. Bishop

Richard Bishop is Chief of the Wildlife Bureau of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Since his first experiences flying surveys and goose banding in Northern Manitoba in the 1960s, he has left a mark on waterfowl conservation throughout the Mississippi Flyway and internationally. He has served on the Mississippi Flyway Technical Committee and then the Council throughout his career. Never one to shy away from a debate, he has actively participated in the advancement of many special issues including, Canada goose reintroductions, special teal seasons, waterfowl baiting, evaluation of the point system, Arctic Goose Joint Venture, adaptive harvest management, Cooperative North American Shotgunning Education Program, evaluation of the flyway system, the North American Bird Conservation initiative, and more. His career has truly been a distinguished one.

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Research/Technical: Stephen P. Havera

Steve Havera has long been a leader of waterfowl conservation issues in Illinois, the Mississippi Flyway, and the country. He has led the Illinois Natural History Surveys' Forbes Biological Station for most of his distinguished career. His most visible accomplishments are two books about the waterfowl of Illinois that are the standard references for waterfowl ecology and management within the State and far beyond. Steve has been a consistent leader in the Mississippi Flyway Council Technical Section where he served on several committees including Environmental Issues, the Diving Duck Committee, and others. His research has ranged from toxic shot ingestion to river ecology, and he is widely appreciated for his rigorous attention to science-based conservation – the approach the DU wholeheartedly embraces.

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Private Citizen: William R. Ireland Sr.

Bill Ireland has been a singular leader of a multitude of critical conservation initiatives for many years. He was a primary promoter of Alabama's Forever Wild Land Trust legislation that has resulted in the acquisition of over 47,000 acres in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and other critical waterfowl habitat in the Grand Bay Savannah, the Sipsey River Swamp, Coldwater Mountain, as well as lands along the Tennessee, Alabama, Coosa, and Tallapoosa Rivers. He is a patron of the Alabama Rivers Alliance, which has been instrumental in forming the Healthy Rivers Campaign, the Alabama Watershed Leadership Program, and the Watershed Awareness and Research Program. Among many other similar contributions, he has also worked with Ducks Unlimited in the restoration of the Racoon Creek Wildlife Management area. Few citizens in America can match his outstanding and extensive contributions to a healthier environment.

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Communications: Robert A. Drieslein

Rob Drieslein grew up with a rich experience of outdoor venues having lived near or on several National Wildlife Refuges, including Sherburne, Seney, Horicon, and the Upper Mississippi River. Rob has a graduate degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His first job was at the Winona Daily News where he covered outdoor, agriculture, and local law enforcement news. Rob became an Associate Editor for Ehlert Publishing in 1994, and covered several archery titles for three years before joining the Outdoors News staff as Editor in 1997. For the last four years, in addition to his Outdoor News editorship, Rob has hosted the KFAN Radio Saturday morning outdoors show. Rob is a firm believer in erring on the side of the resource and keeping the flames of conservation lit for out kids and grand kids.

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