Seth Gordon Award: Wayne MacCallum
Director of Massachusetts Division of Fish and Game
Wayne MacCallum has one of the longest tenures of any agency director—24 years—and more than four decades of experience in fisheries and wildlife management.
“I can’t think of anything more meaningful than to receive [this] award from my peers and the Association,” said Wayne MacCallum, who served as the chair of AFWA’s Awards Committee for many years. “Thank you very much. I’m honored, humbled and surprised.”
MacCallum’s career has spanned from conservation helper, waterfowl researcher, consultant and ultimately the director of the Massachusetts Division of Fishers and Wildlife. MacCallum’s current activities include his appointment by the Secretary of the Interior as the Chair of the North American Wetlands Council and to the Neotropical Bird Advisory Group. He is also the Co-Chair of the National Woodcock Task Force; Vice Chair of the Connecticut River Salmon Commission; Chair of the Atlantic Flyway Council; Chair of the Atlantic Coast Habitat Joint Venture Management Board; and a member of AFWA’s Executive Committee. MacCallum also served as President of the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in 1994 and as AFWA’s President from 1997 to 1998.
John L. Morris Award: John L. Morris, Founder of Bass Pro Shops
This award was created in his honor to celebrate his lifetime of service to the cause of fish and wildlife conservation.
“He is the epitome of the enlightened, able and progressive citizen conservationist who sees beyond the limits of one hometown or one state to the national or international scale and works accordingly and effectively to produce results,” said Curtis Taylor, Director of West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and past-president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
Ernest Thompson Seaton Award: Alaska Department of Fish and Game; Tom Paragi, Wildlife Biologist
In 2009, Paragi was asked to take on a two-year challenge to restructure the agency’s Intensive Management (IM) programs for maintaining wild ungulate harvests at elevated, but sustainable levels through wildlife management practices such as predation control, habitat enhancement and increased hunter access and harvest. Paragi produced the IM policy, guidelines and protocols as a framework for the Department. Paragi also advised area biologists on developing and implementing IM plans, and served in an advisory capacity to insure the collection of quality survey and inventory information. Paragi is a National Conservation Leadership Institute Fellow.
Law Enforcement Award: Officer Jeffery Milner. Indiana Department of Natural Resourses
Since 1999, in his role as the Chief handler, Officer Milner has been instrumental in the expansion and training of 10 additional K-9 unit teams. He also has been called upon by different agencies throughout the state, including the FBI, to locate evidence used in various crimes. Across state lines, Officer Milner has conducted K-9 training academies for conservation officers from Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, Virginia and Idaho, graduating some of the best-training teams in the profession.
Private Lands Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Award: Jim O'Haco, O'Haco Cattle Company
O’Haco owns a working cattle ranch of more than 111,000 acres of private, state trust and federal lease land around Winslow, Arizona.
Over the years, O’Haco has partnered with the Arizona Game and Fish Department on a variety of programs including a Hi-Point Well Water Distribution Project, which provides permanent water sources for wildlife even when there are no cattle in the pastures. By using funding from the Farm Bill’s Landowner Incentive Program, Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program and the Environmental Quality Improvement Program, O’Haco initiated a landscape-scale effort to remove invading junipers from approximately 13,000 acres of grassland. His efforts have resulted in high-quality habitat for pronghorn antelope, elk and other wildlife, particularly grassland-dependent species.
Special Recognition Awards:
Steve Sharon, Fish Culture Supervisior, Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Steve Sharon is a member of AFWA’s Drug Approval Working Group and has been working to change the fact that aquaculture has a very limited number of FDA-approved drugs for use in managing captive and wild aquatic species. He has led efforts to obtain the approval of 8 priority drugs for use in fisheries resource management. Several drugs have since been approved, and last month the FDA authorized the immediate release of freshwater finfish sedated with AQUI-S 20E. Sharon has also served as AFWA’s appointee to the federal Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture representing the states’ interests relevant to the National Aquaculture Improvement Act.
Hannibal Bolton, Assistant Director, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program
Hannibal Bolton, currently the Assistant Director for the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, started as an early leader in successful efforts to improve fisheries management on Native American Reservation in the Midwest. At the national level, he initiated the Service’s national fish Passage Program and helped found and launch the National Fish Habitat Action Plan. In his current position, he administers millions of dollars’ worth of federal grants to state agencies, including the Wildlife and Sport Restoration Programs and State and Tribal Wildlife Grants.
Rocky Beach, Wildlife Diversity Division Manager, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Rocky Beach joined the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a marine mammal biologist moved up to the statewide manager of small game and oil spill response and then to Wildlife Diversity Division manager. He also has led the development and adoption of the state’s wolf conservation and management plan. In addition to leading Washington’s development of its State Wildlife Action Plan, Rocky helped develop the national framework for the plans and served on the National Advisory and Acceptance Team that reviewed State Wildlife Action Plans.