FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2000
Tom MacKenzie, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (404) 679-7291
A 27-year veteran in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement, Thomas M. Riley, has been selected as the new Assistant Regional Director for Law Enforcement in the Service?s Southeast Region..
"Tom?s wealth of experience and service on several national and international wildlife groups will enable our Region to maintain its standard of excellence in law enforcement," said the Service?s Southeast Regional Director, Sam D. Hamilton. "We appreciate the super job our law enforcement agents do in the Southeast, and he will be a great addition as leader of our team. His experience and can-do attitude will be of great value to the law enforcement program."
Hamilton went on to say that Riley has worked closely with state, federal and private organizations on the reintroduction of three of the Service?s most high profile endangered species -- the California sea otter, the California condor, and the gray wolf - - into some of their former habitat in the West.
Riley comes to the Southeast from the Service?s national office in Washington, D.C. where he served as Deputy Chief of Law Enforcement.
"I look forward to working with the state and federal law enforcement, and environmental agencies in the Southeast," said Riley. "The combination of hunting interests, high rates of development and environmental sensitivities, mixed with more than 320 listed endangered species make the Southeast one of the most unique and challenging areas in the United States."
Riley has represented the Service?s law enforcement program on several national and international wildlife groups including The North American Wildlife Enforcement Group; The Trilateral Agreement with Mexico, Canada, and the United States; the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES); the World Customs Organization; the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; and INTERPOL?s Wildlife Working Group in Leon France. He is the Co-Chair for wildlife enforcement of the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement.
"The Southeast Region is one of the most important, if not the most important regions in the Fish and Wildlife Service," said Riley. "I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and working with the staff of managers already in place. This is a one of a kind opportunity and I will work hard to fulfill the Law Enforcement mission for the Region. I have the greatest respect and confidence in Regional Director Sam Hamilton and Deputy Regional Director Dale Hall."
Prior to serving in his present position as Deputy Chief of Law Enforcement in the Service?s national office, Riley was the Senior Resident Agent for Idaho and Nevada from 1993 to 1998. For ten years (1983-1993) he was the Pacific Region?s Deputy Assistant Regional Director for Law Enforcement in Portland, Oregon. From 1981-1983, he was the Service?s Senior Resident Agent for the Port of Los Angeles. Riley established the Service?s law enforcement program for the border port of El Paso, Texas, in 1975, and became the Senior Resident Agent in Houston, Texas, until 1981. He began his career as a Special Agent with the Service in 1973 in Houston, Texas. Born in Lawrenceburg Tennessee, he grew up in South Texas and graduated with a bachelor of science in education from Texas A&M University. Before coming to the Service, he played professional football as a middle linebacker with the Baltimore Colts from 1969 to 1971.
Riley will report to the Service?s Regional Office in Atlanta in mid-November, 2000.
The Southeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service covers an area more than 430,000 square miles, which includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It includes 120 national wildlife refuges totaling a more than 3 million acres, 19 national fish hatcheries, 4 fishery assistance offices, 15 ecological services field offices and 28 law enforcement offices throughout the southeast. Region-wide, the Service employs 1,200-plus workers.
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 of more than 520 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource 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.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http:/southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://www.fws.gov.
Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286