November 5, 1997 Patricia Fisher 202-208-5634

Sandra Cleva 703-358-1949

Diana Hawkins

Vicki Boatwright


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 conservation."

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 conservation efforts.

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.


Release #:r97-98

1997 News Releases

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