David Eisenhauer 703-358-2284
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall has been recognized by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) for his career-long history of working with states and other conservation partners on issues ranging from climate change to endangered species protection.
Hall received the special recognition award for his support of AFWA and the states at the organization's annual meeting this week in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
"Dale Hall has championed state-federal collaboration since he began his conservation career more than 30 years ago, and it has defined his tenure as the Service's top executive," said AFWA Executive Director Matt Hogan. "In the face of challenges such as global climate change, urban sprawl, water management, and generations of children who are becoming disconnected from nature, he regularly has sought to leverage the efforts of the Fish and Wildlife Service by building bridges to AFWA and his state agency counterparts."
Hall said, "Any success I've had in my career is not my own doing--it's the people I've had around me. When we work together, we achieve much more than we could by ourselves."
A native of Kentucky, Hall joined the Service as a wetlands biologist in the Lower Mississippi Valley, where he worked with state partners to develop the multiparameter approach to wetlands used today by the Army Corps of Engineers. The approach provides a logical, easily defensible, and technical basis for wetland determinations. After transferring to Texas, where he eventually became Field Supervisor for the Service's Houston field office, he sought the assistance and input of the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife and Commission on issues ranging from endangered species protection to water rights. During his Houston assignment, Hall was honored as one of the Service's 10 most outstanding merit pay employees for 1986.
In 1987, Hall became the Deputy Assistant Director for Fisheries in the Service's Washington, D.C., office, where he worked closely with state wildlife agencies to develop the Service's policy for management of the nation's fisheries facilities, which included the Service's 75 fish hatcheries, 48 fish and wildlife management assistance offices, four technology development centers, and 11 fish health centers. Later, as Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services for the Pacific Region, he collaborated with the States of Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada in developing conservation policy and activities relating to the northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, desert tortoise, endangered Hawaiian birds, and other listed species. His successful relationships with the States also resulted in the implementation of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and water resource settlements under what is now known as the CALFED/Bay-Delta program.
In February 1996, Department of the Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt presented Hall with the Department's Meritorious Service Award for the role he played in the President's Northwest Forest Plan, an overall vision for the Pacific Northwest that addresses the needs of industry and the environment.
In 1997, Hall was appointed Deputy Regional Director of the Service's Southeast Region. He worked with state directors in every state and territory in the region to manage 15 ecosystems ranging in diversity from the bottomland hardwoods of the lower Mississippi to the tropics of the Caribbean. His emphasis on collaboration continued in his work as Southwest Regional Director, where he played a key role in crafting the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, a 50-year plan to protect threatened and endangered species along 400 miles of river from Lake Mead to the U.S.-Mexico border, while ensuring an uninterrupted supply of water and power.
That philosophy has continued in the three years Hall has served as Director of the Service. The agency is united with AFWA and state agencies in confronting the potential impacts of global warming. Through a series of regional forums, the Service and states have been working with the U.S. Geological Survey, tribes and other partners to collect scientific information that will help build capacity to address the impacts of a changing climate on fish and wildlife habitats.
Hall has stood strongly with states to support hunters and anglers as the "engine that drives the North American model of wildlife management and conservation" and emphasize the need to recruit new generations of hunters and anglers and enlist their support in conservation. During his tenure as Director, the Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs exceeded $11 billion in excise taxes paid by manufacturers of firearms, ammunition, archery, fishing and boating equipment. The funds are used by state wildlife agencies to maintain and restore fish and wildlife resources, educate hunters and fund sport shooting ranges nationwide.
He continues to emphasize the benefits of collaboration among the Service, states, tribes, landowners and other conservation partners in tackling tough issues like water management, urban sprawl, invasive species and the need to develop the next generation of conservationists by connecting children with nature. Hall said he is encouraged by advances in wetlands restoration, pollution control, endangered species protection and other issues once considered too complex or controversial to tread.
"State and federal agencies used to wear different color patches and didn't talk to each other. We still wear different color patches, but now we?re working together," he said. "I'm optimistic for what we can achieve in the years to come."
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
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