FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 8, 1997

Vicki M. Boatwright

(404) 649-7287





SAM D. HAMILTON NAMED

SERVICE'S SOUTHEAST REGIONAL DIRECTOR

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Jamie Rappaport Clark today named veteran Service biologist Sam D. Hamilton the regional director for the Southeast Region, headquartered in Atlanta. The Southeast Region includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, plus the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Hamilton, a native of Starkville, Mississippi, most recently served as a Geographic Assistant Regional Director in the Southeast Region with responsibility for 34 national wildlife refuges, 8 ecological services field offices, and 5 national fish hatcheries in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. In addition, he served as the region's senior policy advisor for endangered species, wetlands conservation, and habitat restoration.

"Throughout his career, Sam Hamilton has shown outstanding professionalism and leadership in dealing with some of the more difficult conservation issues we face," Clark said. "He has served in some of our hot spots and won the respect of wildlife conservation professionals and state and local leaders who have worked with him."

The Service's facilities in the region include 112 national wildlife refuges covering more than 3.1 million acres, 19 national fish hatcheries, 4 fishery assistance offices, 15 ecological services field offices, and 28 law enforcement offices.

As regional director, Hamilton will oversee the Service's role in the restoration of the South Florida ecosystem, including the Everglades, and a growing number of habitat conservation plans--voluntary agreements with landowners that allow economic development to continue on private lands while conserving threatened and endangered species--being developed by the Service in the Southeast.

"Being a native of the South, I look forward to working in partnership with states, local governments, conservation groups, corporations, private citizens, and others to advance the cause of wildlife conservation throughout this great region," Hamilton said.

"As an avid hunter and angler, I love the outdoors and strongly believe we must conserve our fish and wildlife for the enjoyment of all Americans," he said.

Hamilton will also bring significant national experience and perspective to the region. In recent months, he has served as the Service's Acting Assistant Director for Ecological Services in Washington, D.C., overseeing programs associated with the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, wetland and coastal ecosystem programs, environmental contaminants, and Federal water resource development programs.

Hamilton also has served as the Service's Texas State Administrator in Austin. In this position, he was responsible for overseeing implementation of the Endangered Species Act and other environmental statutes throughout Texas.

Earlier in his career with the Service, Hamilton served with the Service for 7 years in Mississippi and Alabama. In 1986, he was the recipient of the Alabama Wildlife Federation's Water Conservationist of the Year Award for efforts associated with restoring historic river flows and fisheries to the Coosa River.

Hamilton started his career with the Youth Conservation Corps at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi. His experiences there triggered an interest in conservation that led to his career with the Service.

Hamilton is a 1977 graduate of Mississippi State University. He is the son of Mary L. Hamilton of Starkville and the late Lt. Col. Sam D. Hamilton, and a 1973 graduate of Starkville High School.

Hamilton is a 1977 graduate of Mississippi State University. He is the son of Mary L. Hamilton of Starkville and the late Lt. Col. Sam D. Hamilton, and a 1973 graduate of Starkville High School.

Hamilton and his wife Becky, who hails from Jackson, Mississippi, are parents to two sons, Sam (15) and Clay (10).

Hamilton and his wife Becky, who hails from Jackson, Mississippi, are parents to two sons, Sam (15) and Clay (10).

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages 511 national wildlife refuges covering 92 million acres, as well as 65 national fish hatcheries.

The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird populations, stocks recreational fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, administers the Endangered Species Act, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes Federal excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies. This program is a cornerstone of the Nation's wildlife management efforts, funding fish and wildlife restoration, boating access, hunter education, shooting ranges, and related projects across America.

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Release #pr97-64


1997 News Releases

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