HELENA, Mont. – April 2, 2018 – Ducks Unlimited announced the winners of the 2018 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards during the 83rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held in Norfolk, Virginia. This year’s recipient in the federal agency employee category is Jim Stutzman, former habitat delivery specialist for the Intermountain West Joint Venture.
“Jim Stutzman has been a positive force for cooperative conservation on private lands in Montana,” said DU Chief Conservation Officer Nick Wiley.
Stutzman came to Montana in 1983 as the wetland district manager at Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge. This area supports abundant breeding waterfowl and habitats, including the highest pair densities of Northern pintails and some of the most intact wetland/grassland complexes in the lower 48 states.
“Jim is a true conservation champion,” said Bob Sanders, DU conservation manager for Montana. “Whether he is working with a team of conservation partners or talking with a landowner, Jim’s humble yet effective style is one that all resource professionals should strive to emulate.”
In 1987, he started the Montana Partners for Fish and Wildlife program. Through this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) program, Jim built countless partnerships with private landowners, agencies and non-governmental organizations. His team signed landowner agreements to restore and enhance more than 31,000 acres of wetlands, almost 1,300 miles of stream/riparian habitat, and 370,000 upland acres. He also worked with landowners to sign conservation easements, protecting tens of thousands of acres in perpetuity.
Jim was very active in co-authoring more than $100 million in North American Wetland Conservation Act grants to support conservation work in Montana. Jim retired from FWS in 2012 and went to work for Ducks Unlimited and the Intermountain West Joint Venture, focusing on the Southern Oregon/Northeastern California region.
Ducks Unlimited’s Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards are presented annually in six categories to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and restoration of North America’s wetlands and waterfowl. To view a complete list of the 2018 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award winners, visit www.ducks.org/wetlandawards.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.8 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.
Becky Jones Mahlum