News Release
Southeast Region


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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Region Honors Conservation Efforts of Partners, Volunteers, and Employees

October 30, 2013






The Vermilion Darter.

A canoe trail in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
Photo credit: USFWS

A close up view of a leatherback sea turtle on land.

A leatherback sea turtle.
Photo credit: David Rabon - USFWS

Three Mississippi sandhill cranes walking in a field.

Three Mississippi sandhill cranes.
Photo credit: © Bill Campbell


Atlanta, GA – Some of the Southeast’s finest conservationists, academics, and partners in wildlife conservation will be recognized today at a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director’s Honor Awards ceremony.

“Recognizing the excellence of partners, volunteers and employees is one way we can say thank you to those who practice what we like to call ‘Southern-style conservation’,” Regional Director Cindy Dohner said. “Every day, they demonstrate their long-term commitment to working together to sustain fish and wildlife for future generations. We are indebted to them.”

Among those being honored are:

  • Dr. Llewellyn Ehrhart, professor emeritus at the University of Central Florida, has conducted decades of research on sea turtle beach nesting productivity, which has helped the Service and the State of Florida understand their population status and trends. His work also led to selecting the location for Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge on Florida’s east coast, the most densely nested beach habitat for loggerheads in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s largest electricity provider, has been a close partner and supporter of the Santee National Wildlife Refuge since 1941, when the refuge was established. The company has helped the refuge control invasive, aquatic plants, built a boardwalk and trail, and made it possible to expand a lease agreement in order to protect waterfowl sanctuaries in Cantey Bay.
  • After a massive fire and a devastating drought closed 120 miles of canoe and kayak trails in Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge for more than a year, the Okefenokee Trail Team of ten volunteers donated up to three months of their time to remove logs and overgrown shrubs in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in south Georgia.
  • Scott Hereford, a supervisory wildlife biologist at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge in Gautier, Mississippi, has advanced the recovery of the endangered Mississippi sandhill crane by testing new research and supporting the largest and oldest crane release program in the world.
  • Two Friends Groups, which are volunteer groups that give their time and talents to national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries, were named Friends Groups of the Year: the Friends of Norfork National Fish Hatchery in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and the Friends of Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Shreveport, Louisiana.

In all, 32 individuals and teams will be recognized today for their extraordinary efforts in the service of conservation.

The Service’s Southeast Region includes 129 national wildlife refuges, 11 migratory bird offices, 14 national fish hatcheries, 14 ecological services offices and 30 law enforcement offices.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit  Connect with us on Facebook at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at, and download photos from our Flickr page at


Return to the 2013 News Releases

Last updated: February 20, 2014