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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams Receives Receives Outdoor Life Magazine's Conservation Award for Public Service


February 18, 2004

Patricia Fisher, 202/208-1459
Tom MacKenzie, 404/679-7291

Outdoor Life magazine is awarding Director Steve Williams its prestigious Conservation Award for Public Service for his leadership in strengthening the long-standing conservation partnership between America's sportsmen and women and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The award was presented February 13th at the 2004 Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas. Rollin Sparrowe, president of the Wildlife Management Institute and former chief of the Service's Office of Migratory Bird Management was also recognized.

"Hunters and anglers are among our nation's best conservationists," Williams said. "As someone who enjoys the outdoors and grew up hunting and fishing with my father, I consider myself pretty fortunate to have had the opportunities during my career to make a difference. To be able to make a positive contribution to conservation, working with hunters, anglers, and others who enjoy the outdoors, is something upon which I place great value. I am honored to join the distinguished past recipients of Outdoor Life's prestigious conservation award."

Outdoor Life magazine, published since 1898, has worked with public policy makers, conservation organizations, and private citizens, to protect and enhance sportsmen's long-term enjoyment of the outdoors. The magazine's conservation awards were established to recognize important contributions to conservation and the stewardship of America's natural resources over time.

First presented in 1923, the Conservation Award is presented annually to two individuals, one in public service and the other in the individual achievement. Williams and Sparrowe were chosen from a list of worthy candidates nominated to the Outdoor Life Conservation Fund Advisory Board. Past recipients of the award include such notables as Aldo Leopold, U.S. Reps. John Tanner of Tennessee and Don Young of Alaska, and James D. Range of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

Williams was nominated to be the Service's Director by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 30, 2002. As Director, Williams oversees the operations of the nation's primary wildlife conservation agency with more than 7,500 employees and a 2004 budget of roughly $1.3 billion.

Prior to this appointment, Williams was Secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. He earned a doctorate in forest resources at the Pennsylvania State University, a master of science degree from the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks; and a bachelor's degree in environmental resource management, also from the Pennsylvania State University.

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 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 542 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 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, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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