photo of Jennifer Jewett hiking with her son
Jennifer Jewett, Legends Award recipient, hiking with her son Tommy at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota.

Three National Wildlife Refuge System field staffers and six law enforcement officers have been cited this year for exemplary work.


Legends Award


Jennifer Jewett, education and outreach coordinator at Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge, ND, was named the Legends Award recipient. She was recognized for her innovative programs to inspire and educate youth and for developing community partners.


She oversaw two AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps crews that completed major improvement projects, including renovating an accessible nature trail, removing hazardous trees at a dangerous intersection, prepping and assisting with prescribed fires, and organizing events such as Christmas bird counts and an endangered species day at a North Dakota zoo.


The Legends Award is presented annually by the American Recreation Coalition, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal land management agencies.


Beacon Award


Pamela Steinhaus, visitor services manager at Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Savanna, IL, District, and Lori Iverson, supervisory recreation planner at National Elk Refuge, WY, were chosen as Beacon Award winners by the American Recreation Coalition.


The Beacon Award is given annually to federal land management agency employees who stand out in the field of information and technology.


Steinhaus was recognized for her work integrating technology into her environmental strategy, which includes the use of free wi-fi service to refuge visitors and the installation of wildlife viewing cams throughout the southern portion of the refuge.


Iverson was recognized for her integration of technology into a program titled "Journals and JPGs—Seasons on the Refuge" and using digital photography to stimulate interest in the natural resources of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem by using the refuge as a living field lab.


Regional Law Enforcement Awards


Isaac Bedingfield, Alaska Region, based at Kodiak Refuge. He patrols the refuge and nearby islands and marine waters by boat and air. His piloting skills give him all-season access to remote areas where people don’t expect a law enforcement presence. He is also a Service firearms instructor.


Shelby Finney, Southwest Region, based at Salt Plains Refuge, OK. He helped the Bureau of Indian Affairs fight crime on the Mescalero Apache Reservation, NM, as part of Operation Alliance. As a member of the Service Honor Guard, he helped dedicate a Pennsylvania memorial to passengers of Flight 93 killed by terrorists on September 11, 2001. In 2009 he rescued four women and an infant from flash floods, while piloting an airboat for county sheriff departments.


Deb Goeb, Mountain-Prairie Region, based at Charles M. Russell Refuge, MT. She is the lead firearm instructor in an eight-state area and evaluates officers’ performance in the Service’s field training program. She established night patrols to curb illegal drug and alcohol use on the refuge. Her resolve in tracing an elk poaching case in a closed portion of the refuge led to a federal court conviction.


Carl Lantz, Midwest Region, based at Crab Orchard Refuge, IL. While on detail, he helped southern Indiana refuges enforce hunting laws. At Patoka River Refuge and Wildlife Management Area, he determined that a group of hunters had exceeded the duck-hunting limit. Two hunters confessed and paid fines totaling $1,800.


Bryant Marcial, Southeast Region, based at Caribbean Islands Refuge Complex, PR. He helped convict animal traffickers for selling endangered sea turtle eggs and meat, a violation of the Endangered Species Act, and he also conducted stakeouts to confirm violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.


Gareth Williams, Northeast Region, based at Potomac River Refuge Complex, VA. He saved a life by investigating a matter that other agencies initially had set aside because no missing persons report had been filed.