Ducks Unlimited Announces Winners of 2006 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards
Ducks Unlimited Executive Vice President Don Young (right) congratulates Kalven Trice, Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist for Arkansas, for being chosen as the federal employee DU Wetland Conservation Achievement Award winner.
COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 24, 2006 - Officials from Ducks Unlimited announced the winners of the 2006 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards and the State Grant Awards at the 71st annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Columbus, Ohio on March 24.
DU’s Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the restoration and protection of North America’s wetlands and waterfowl habitat. The awards are presented in six categories. This year’s winners are:
Category and Winner
Federal Representative: Senator Thad Cochran, Mississippi.
Senator Cochran, a loyal friend to wetlands conservation, has actively supported both the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the Federal Duck Stamp Program, both crucial to the DU mission and wetlands conservation. He has also taken actions on the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission to establish national wildlife refuges.
Federal Agency: Kalven Trice, Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist for Arkansas.
Kalven Trice is been a leading advocate for on-farm conservation programs in Arkansas, including enrollment and restoration of Wetland Reserve Program acres in the state, which has been recognized as one of the most efficient USDA programs in existence. Due to his high level of commitment to this program, almost 200,000 acres of marginal farm grounds have been enrolled and restored.
State/Provincial: John Cooper, Secretary, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.
Cooper, a former member of the law enforcement division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, presently serves on several important councils. He is president of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, chair of the Adaptive Harvest Management Task Force, and chairman of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Habitat committee. He has worked to improve habitat, enforce hunting regulations and educate the public about all aspects of waterfowl management.
Research/Technical: Dr. Richard M. Kaminski, Professor of Wildlife & Fisheries at Mississippi State University.
Dr. Kaminski’s graduate research was groundbreaking in its employment of management-related scientific experiments, and he has since produced about 80 peer-reviewed scientific publications. Dr. Kaminski has seen more of his graduate students employed by DU than any other professor in the United States.
Private Citizen: Hod Kosman, Nebraska.
Kosman helped form and lead the Platte River Basin Environments (PRBE), which has helped protect and restore 2,850 acres of wetlands and river bottom and 8,699 acres of uplands. His efforts have helped establish four state wildlife management areas and one nature center.
Communications: Chris Niskanen, Outdoor Editor, St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Niskanen’s article in Pioneer Press entitled "Trouble in Paradise" emphasized the relationship between the unintended consequences of present agriculture policy in the grasslands of the Prairie Pothole Region and the loss of this critical waterfowl habitat. He adeptly described what this meant for the future of waterfowl hunting and continues to write informative pieces about timely conservation issues.
"Each of these citizens has made a profound difference in wetlands conservation," said DU Executive Vice President Don Young. "We are proud to honor them with Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards - testaments to their outstanding impact on our mission."
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature’s most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres each year.