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Excellence in land acquisition recognized in Midwest Region

Tamra Adams at award ceremony with Eric Alvarez and out among rhododendrons. Photos courtesy of Tamra Adams.

Tamra Adams at award ceremony with Eric Alvarez and out among rhododendrons. Photos courtesy of Tamra Adams.

By Danielle Kepford
National Wildlife Refuge System

Midwest Region Realty Specialist Tamra Adams received the Rudolph Dieffenbach Award in early November. National Wildlife Refuge System Chief of Real Estate Eric Alvarez was honored to present Adams with this special recognition. For more than 20 years, Adams has provided the division of realty and refuge managers with exceptional customer service.

This national award is given annually to a realty employee for significant contributions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service land acquisition systems, operation or mission. During her tenure, Adams has played an instrumental role in the growth and development of the National Wildlife Refuge System. With an emphasis on land acquisitions located in Minnesota, Adams has effectively closed on acquisitions in 34 Minnesota counties. On average, Adams consummates 30 acquisitions a year, which resulted in the permanent protection of 12,000 acres over the past five years. The monetary value placed on these lands is estimated to be $22 million!

Adams’ greatest asset is her professional working knowledge of what makes a successful real estate transaction. She also knows how to look for solutions when transactions don’t go as smoothly as hoped. Adams has resolved some of our most complex land title issues and proposed viable alternatives to disagreements that might have led to acquisitions being dropped. As one of her co-workers has repeatedly stated, “There has never been a question she cannot answer or problem she cannot resolve.”

Adams has also co-developed a regional realty case-tracking system that is being considered for a national roll-out program wide. Her innovative and forward-thinking talent has fostered an increase in our technical abilities and efficiencies, which is critical for our external customers who may compare timelines of private-sector transactions with the federal process.

The award is named after Rudolph Dieffenbach, who acquired more land for American wildlife than any other figure before or after his era. Born in 1884 in Westminster, Maryland, Dieffenbach spent 44 years working for the federal government, 27 of them for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1925, he was asked to organize the acquisition of land for the newly authorized Upper Mississippi River Wildlife and Fish Refuge.

Last updated: June 8, 2020