Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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2015 Torch Award Recipient Blake Kinsley (Left) and Regional Director Tom Melius (Right). Photo By Alejandro Morales/USFWS.

2015 Torch Award Recipient Blake Kinsley (Left) and Regional Director Tom Melius (Right). Photo By Alejandro Morales/USFWS.

9th Annual Torch Award Awarded to Blake Kinsley

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has used fire to conserve, protect and enhance habitats for fish, wildlife and plants since the early 1930s. Annually we honor one employee with the exclusive and prestigious Midwest Torch Award. Choosing an award recipient is based upon how well an employee effectively uses hazard fuel, prescribed fired techniques, wildfire prevention and habitat conservation management.

On February 4, 2015 Blake Kinsley nominated was selected by his peers to be this year’s Torch Award recipient. Blake has worked at the Iowa Wetland Management District and Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge for six years.

“Blake has a high level of integrity in carrying out his job and goes above and beyond what is required of him, he is a leader that people follow” stated Blake’s supervisor, Clifford Berger.

Blake, with the help of his team, was able to effectively coordinate and work with Iowa Department of Natural Resources biologists to initiate a prescribed fire program covering 35 counties in the northwest region of Iowa. Blake’s impressive work continues with his elite knowledge of Geographic Information System (GIS) and Fire Management Information Systems (FMIS) that contribute to important documentation.

Blake’s leadership, integrity, knowledge and teamwork will inspire many more award winning firefighters. We look forward to honoring future Torch Award recipients and are proud of this ongoing tradition.

By Alejandro Morales
Regional Office – External Affairs


Last updated: March 5, 2015