FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Vicki M. Boatwright or February 28, 1997 Diana M. Hawkins WILLIAM C. (CHUCK) HUNTER RECEIVES 1996 PARTNERS IN FLIGHT LEADERSHIP AWARD
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist William C. (Chuck) Hunter was recently singled out to receive the 1996 Partners In Flight award in the leadership category. A number of these prestigious awards are presented each year to individuals who have made significant contributions to furthering the organization's goal of protecting migratory birds and their habitats. Hunter received two separate nominations for the award and was named the only winner in the leadership category. The award will be presented to him March 16, 1997, at the North American Natural Resources Conference in Washington D.C.
Partners in Flight is a cooperative effort involving partnerships among federal, state and local government agencies, philanthropic foundations, professional organizations, conservation groups, industry and the academic community. Today, partners include 16 federal agencies, 40 non-government organizations, over 60 state and provincial fish and wildlife agencies, numerous universities, and the forest industry. According to Noreen K. Clough, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Regional Director, "The organization's strength lies in the synergy that is created when diverse, committed groups who care about birds work together for a common goal."
Hunter, who is well known for his dedication to the long-term conservation of neotropical migratory birds, has served as the Southeast Regional Coordinator for Partners In Flight since 1995 and is cited for being "the primary force to get Partners In Flight in the Southeast up and running and to continue its progress in many areas." As Regional Coordinator, he is presently serving a three-year detail with the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the State of Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, but continues to work closely with Service personnel.
According to the Service's Nongame Bird Coordinator Richard Coon, who nominated Hunter for the award, "Chuck is a detail man; he is investigative; a scientist-type with a thoroughness quality for completing tasks and assignments. He knows the habitats of the Southeast, he knows the communities and the wildlife and bird species present."
Partners in Flight was launched in 1990 in response to growing concerns about declines in the populations of many bird species, and in order to emphasize the conservation of birds not covered by existing conservation initiatives. The initial focus was on species that breed in North America and winter in Latin America and the Caribbean, but the focus has now spread to include most land birds. The organization's central premise is that the resources of public and private organizations across the western hemisphere must be combined, coordinated and increased, to achieve success in conserving bird populations in this hemisphere.
Hunter, author and co-author of many published scientific papers and articles, has served as a staff biologist with the Service's Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta, Georgia, since March 1989. Prior to that, he worked in the Service's Phoenix, Arizona, ecological services field office, where he concentrated on the conservation of western riparian ecosystems. Commenting on his selection for this award, Hunter credited his success to the strong support he received from his supervisors along with the valuable assistance of his colleauges who represent many agencies, organizations, and universities across the Southeast.
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1997 News Releases