|November 5, 1997||Patricia Fisher 202-208-5634
Sandra Cleva 703-358-1949
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Jamie Rappaport Clark has named Kevin Adams, a
21-year veteran of Federal wildlife law enforcement, chief of the agency's Division of Law
Enforcement. The Division enforces Federal wildlife conservation laws, investigates
illegal trade in protected wildlife, and inspects wildlife imports and export shipments.
"Kevin Adams brings a successful record as a special agent, experience with
complex international investigations, and demonstrated leadership skills to his new
position," said Clark. "He understands the importance of law enforcement to the
sound management of the Nation's fish and wildlife resources and its vital role in
international conservation efforts."
Adams, who joined the Service in 1979, served most recently as special agent in charge
of the Division's Branch of Special Operations, which conducts undercover investigations
of large-scale illegal trade in protected wildlife. As Deputy Assistant Regional Director
for Law Enforcement with the Service's Southwest Region, he managed investigations in
Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. He was also senior resident agent for Minnesota
and Wisconsin for 6 years.
As the Service's chief law enforcement officer, Adams oversees the enforcement of
numerous Federal wildlife protection laws and treaties, including the Endangered Species
Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora,
commonly known as CITES. The Division of Law Enforcement conducts criminal investigations
out of seven regional offices; maintains a force of Federal wildlife inspectors stationed
at U.S. ports of entry and border crossings; operates the National Fish and Wildlife
Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon; and provides training for U.S. and international
wildlife law enforcement officers.
"We will continue the Service's long tradition of working with state, Federal, and
Tribal natural resource agencies to protect our native trust species," Adams said.
"We must also strengthen our cooperative efforts with foreign governments to conserve
global wildlife resources."
Billions of dollars worth of protected animals and plants are traded illegally each
year. Adams cites the Service's recent successes in helping to stem the illegal trade in
rare and endangered parrots, reptiles, and tortoises and investigations involving
trafficking in bear, tiger, and other animal parts sold for use in Asian medicines as
examples of the types of high-priority cases the Division will continue to pursue with the
cooperation of international partners.
"The Service's wildlife inspectors provide a vital front-line defense against
wildlife smuggling and the traffic in illegal wildlife products," Adams said,
"but we need to build even stronger global partnerships and find new ways to protect
wildlife here at home. Working with the conservation community alone won't be enough. Our
partners must include business, industry, and the public."
Adams cites the Service's work with electric utility companies and oil and gas
producers to reduce the number of migratory bird fatalities caused by powerlines and oil
production facilities. "We're also making progress in working with mining,
agricultural, transportation, and manufacturing interests to protect waterfowl, marine
mammals, and threatened and endangered species," he said.
"Many law enforcement problems can best be addressed through public awareness and
preventive efforts," said Service Deputy Director John Rogers, whose areas of
responsibility include law enforcement. "Kevin Adams is a well-respected
professional. His ability to listen and lead will serve the agency well as we look to
improve public understanding and forge new partnerships to promote wildlife
A native of Shawneetown, Illinois, Adams earned a B.S. in zoology at Southern Illinois
University in Carbondale. He and his wife, Carol, an education specialist with the
Service's National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, have two
children: Amy, a student in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma State
University, and Matt, an undergraduate at the University of New Mexico.
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 67 national fish hatcheries.
The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, manages migratory bird populations, restores
nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as
wetlands, administers the Endangered Species Act, and helps foreign governments with their
It also oversees the Federal Aid program that funnels 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.
1997 News Releases