For Immediate Release
September 2, 1999

Contact: Tom MacKenzie
404/679-7291

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Appoints New Georgia Field Supervisor

tucker3.jpg (12033 bytes)The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has appointed Sandy Tucker as the Field Supervisor of Georgia's Ecological Services Division. Tucker, a 18-year veteran of the Service, is located at the new Georgia Ecological Services office in Athens, Georgia.

"Because of Georgia's unprecedented growth, there is a great demand on the State's natural resources," said Sam D. Hamilton, Director of the Service's Regional Office in Atlanta. "Under Ms. Tucker's leadership, the Service will continue to be an integral partner in the protection of Georgia's wildlife habitats."

As the Field Supervisor for Ecological Services, Tucker is responsible for coordinating the Service's responsibilities under several Federal fish and wildlife laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Ecological Services staff works closely with other Federal agencies to ensure that Federal actions have minimal impacts on fish and wildlife resources. For example, Service biologists recommend measures to restore degraded habitats, protect wildlife and their habitat from the harmful effects of pollution, and facilitate recovery of endangered and threatened species. The Service also aids in the development of habitat conservation plans, which are agreements between with landowners that permit continued use and development on private lands while conserving threatened and endangered species.

"I am excited about the idea of working with the myriad of stakeholders throughout Georgia to develop lasting partnerships that will protect the natural systems of this State," said Tucker. "Our challenge is to protect those resources yet provide for the needs of one of the fastest-growing urban populations in the Nation."

While located in Athens, Tucker will also oversee operations at the Coastal Georgia and West Georgia Ecological Service offices in Brunswick and Columbus, respectively.

"Our goal is to be more accessible to our partners and to landowners throughout the State," said Tucker. "By locating offices in three regions of Georgia, we can provide better assistance and more focused attention toward the protection of Georgia's remarkable wildlife habitat."

A native of Alabama, Tucker has held several positions with the Service. She began her career in the Service's Daphne, Alabama Ecological Services office. She held positions in Alaska and at the Service's National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Immediately prior to her appointment as Georgia Field Supervisor, Tucker served as a staff biologist in the Division of Endangered Species in the Service's Washington Office.

Tucker holds a Master of Science degree in wildlife biology from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from Auburn University. She and her husband, Garry, are the parents of two daughters, Natalie and Kelly. Very much a family-oriented person, Ms. Tucker's free-time activities include family outings to State and Federal parks, forests, and other natural area.

The Ecological Services office supervised by Tucker is one of many programs managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Georgia. The Service also manages Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge and Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and seven wildlife refuges in the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Additionally, the Service operates two fish hatcheries, the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery and the Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery, a Regional Fish Technology Center and a Regional Fisheries Center at Warm Springs, and Law Enforcement Offices in Savannah and Atlanta. The Service administers the Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration program, which distributed over $8 million in funds to Georgia in 1998.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprised of more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management assistance offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies.

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Release #:R99-077

 


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