Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever recently honored five wildlife professionals with Conservation Service Awards during the 82nd
North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference in Spokane, Washington. The award winners were selected for their distinguishing contributions to wildlife habitat conservation efforts nationwide, including partnership programs which have achieved landscape-level habitat improvements for a variety of wildlife species.
“Our Conservation Service Awards characterize the remarkable efforts of individuals who are contributing to conservation and public access efforts throughout the country,” stated Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever. “These people represent the spirit and motivation of The North American, and their contributions warrant the respect and gratitude from all of us in the outdoor community.”
Bob Broscheid – Director, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Since becoming Director for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in 2013, Bob Broscheid has focused the agency's priorities on conservation of habitat and access for hunters and anglers. These priorities are aligned with and supported by strong partnerships with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. The recently established Corners for Conservation access program, as well as support of the Lesser-Prairie Chicken and Sage Grouse Initiatives, are prime examples that epitomize a mutual partnership between Colorado Parks and Wildlife and “The Habitat Organization.” These programs not only require substantial funding, but also on-the-ground technical support to work with private landowners on restoring Colorado's grassland habitats. Broscheid’s leadership and support, along with the dedication of many Colorado Parks & Wildlife staff, is positioning Colorado to become a leader in private lands habitat conservation.
Nick Wiley – Executive Director, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
Nick Wiley is a Certified Wildlife Biologist employed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) as Executive Director with more than 30 years of professional experience in fish and wildlife management. Working in conjunction with Quail Forever, Tall Timbers, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wiley has been instrumental in the efforts of the FWC to help shape the Florida/Georgia Quail Coalition – a mutual partnership to conserve northern bobwhite habitat and promote shooting sports in the Southeast. Additionally, Wiley has been a key organizer of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative as well as the National Bobwhite Technical Committee, critical partnerships for the nation’s quail conservation efforts in which Quail Forever is now an integral contributor.
Wayne Rosenthal – Director, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
With more than 20 years of volunteer experience with the organization and currently a Life Member of Pheasants Forever, Wayne Rosenthal has become a national advocate for the conservation of pheasants, quail, and other wildlife. Serving in his current role as Director for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources since 2015, Rosenthal has helped establish numerous partnership opportunities with Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever chapters in Illinois to make positive impacts for habitat conservation. From establishing Wild Rural Park in 2004, a hunting/fishing preserve dedicated to providing outdoor experiences for youth, to helping foster the Illinois Recreational Access Program last year with the help of “The Habitat Organization,” Rosenthal has shown a dedication to conserving public lands and access in The Prairie State.
Chuck Kowaleski – Farm Bill Coordinator, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Representing a dedicated voice for wildlife habitat conservation efforts with his lengthy involvement in Farm Bill policy, Chuck Kowaleski has served as the Farm Bill Coordinator since 2001 for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. As a longtime friend of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever, Kowaleski has provided expert guidance to the organization regarding Farm Bill programs, including those with multiple benefits for landowners, farmer/ranchers, and wildlife. As a past chair of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative Technical Committee, he has helped shape the future of bobwhite management in the United States, and has been a proponent for growing the mission of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever in the Southern Great Plains.
Tony Leif – Director for Division of Wildlife, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks
As a 30-year veteran of the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department, Tony Leif is no stranger to grassland conservation efforts that have helped South Dakota retain its status as “The Pheasant Capital.” Since being hired by the department in 1987 and quickly earning the title of lead upland game biologist, Leif was instrumental in developing Game, Fish & Park’s pheasant habitat program – focusing on winter habitat – as a complement to nesting cover and the Conservation Reserve Program. As a primary organizer of the 2013 Governor’s Pheasant Habitat Summit and the current board chair of the National Wild Pheasant Conservation Plan, Leif’s expertise and guidance to Pheasants Forever on critical issues regarding upland bird habitat conservation has been nothing less than extraordinary.
About the North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference
Presented by the Wildlife Management Institute, The North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference is an annual gathering of industry leaders dedicated to the conservation, enhancement and management of North America’s wildlife and other natural resources.
About Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 149,000 members and 720 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $708 million on 517,000 habitat projects benefiting 15.8 million acres nationwide.
Pictured: Award recipients pose with Howard Vincent, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s president and CEO, at the 82nd North American Conference. (From left to right: Howard Vincent, Bob Broscheid, Nick Wiley, Wayne Rosenthal, Chuck Kowaleski, and Tony Leif.