SEAFWA News

News about Association actions, agencies, and individual members.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Carter Smith Announces Retirement
Smith is ending a nearly 15-year tenure in January 2023
June 21, 2022
Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Executive Director Carter Smith announced today he will retire effective January 2023, ending a nearly 15-year tenure that strengthened private-lands stewardship, expanded state parks and wildlife management areas, bolstered conservation, law enforcement, and park funding, and brought a renewed focus on connecting Texans young and old with the state’s natural resources.

 “The opportunity to work alongside the immensely talented and dedicated men and women of this Department has been the privilege of a lifetime,” said Carter...

Minorities in Natural Resources Conservation Committee offers stipends to minority students
Deadline for application is Sept. 5, 2022
April 7, 2022

The Minorities in Natural Resources Conservation (MINRC) subcommittee is actively seeking minority students to participate in the 76th Annual Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) Conference on October 23-26, 2022. During the SEAFWA Conference, MINRC will conduct student workshops that will provide valuable career development information. Students will participate in discussions and gain information on selected topics...

Ross Melinchuk named the Executive Director of SEAFWA
March 7, 2022

Paul Johansen, President of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) has announced the appointment of Ross Melinchuk as the organization’s Executive Director.

Melinchuk, of Aiken, South Carolina, has over four decades of experience in the natural resource management and conservation field, including over thirty years in senior management and leadership roles. He has been actively engaged in public policy at all...

Call for Nominations to Recognize Outstanding Lifetime Service for Wildlife Enforcement Officers
NFWF's Guy Bradley Award Honors State and Federal Agency Wildlife Enforcement Officers
November 29, 2021

Nominations are due by Friday, January 14th, 2022 by 11:59pm Eastern Time

In 1905, a Florida game warden named Guy Bradley became the first wildlife law enforcement agent killed while performing his duties to protect the nation’s wildlife. Law enforcement agents like Bradley are essential to virtually every aspect of wildlife conservation, from recovering endangered species to managing waterfowl and big game resources.  In honor of Guy Bradley, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation established this lifetime...

Retired VDWR Executive Director receives highest honor from regional wildlife agencies
Robert W. “Bob” Duncan named 2021 C. W. Watson Award winner
October 19, 2021
Virginia

The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) conferred the C. W. Watson Award upon Bob Duncan during their 75th annual meeting, held Oct. 17-20 in Roanoke, Virginia. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the Association and presented in conjunction with the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society and the Southeastern Section of The Wildlife Society.

Duncan retired in 2019 after 41 years with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, formerly Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the last 11 of which he led the agency as...

Virginia and South Carolina wildlife agencies recognized for diversity and inclusion efforts
October 19, 2021
Virginia

The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) recognized the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (VDWR) for its workforce diversity and inclusion efforts and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) for its outreach and education diversity and inclusion efforts during SEAFWA's 75th annual meeting, held in Roanoke Oct. 17-20.

The SEAFWA Minorities in Natural Resources Conservation (MINRC)...

2021 SEAFWA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
Lance Corporal Blake Baxley Honored
October 19, 2021
Virginia

Lance Corporal Blake Baxley from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is the 2021 Colonel Brantley SEAFWA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

This officer consistently exceeds expectations in all aspects of his job. He strives to be perfect, always pays attention to detail, and his work ethic sets the bar for his unit. He has followed in his father’s footsteps and became a game warden in 2015.  He is a K-9 Handler, Hunting Incident Investigator, Specific Skills Instructor, Data-Master Operator, and an SFST Instructor.

With his K-9 partner Arya,...

North Carolina biologist honored by regional peers
Chad Thomas named 2021 SEAFWA Fisheries Biologist of the Year
October 19, 2021
Virginia

The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named Chad Thomas the 2021 Fisheries Biologist of the Year at their 75th annual meeting, held in Roanoke, Virginia Oct. 17-20. Thomas currently serves as the coastal region fisheries supervisor for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC).

“Chad Thomas has served as an exemplary steward of North Carolina’s fisheries resources throughout his 28-year career,” SEAFWA President Paul Johansen said. “From advancing a web-based, user-friendly statewide fisheries data repository to using emerging...

North Carolina amphibian biologist honored by regional peers
Lori Williams named 2021 SEAFWA Wildlife Biologist of the Year
October 19, 2021
Virginia

The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) named Lori Williams the 2021 Wildlife Biologist of the Year at their 75th annual meeting, held Oct. 17-20 in Roanoke, Virginia. Williams has served as the lead amphibian biologist for the western region of North Carolina for the last 17 years.

“Williams’ passion for some of our most overlooked wildlife is matched only by her expertise,” SEAFWA President Paul Johansen said. “She has been instrumental in the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s effort to conserve the state’s and region’s native...

Oklahoma Hunter Education Program recognized by regional peers
ODWC’s Lance Meek given 2021 SEAFWA Directors’ Special Recognition Award
October 19, 2021
Virginia

The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) bestowed a Special Recognition Award upon Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Senior Communication and Education Specialist Lance Meek during their 75th annual meeting, held Oct. 17-20 in Roanoke, Virginia. Meek was recognized for leading ODWC’s innovations in hunter education.

“Lance Meek has proven to be a passionate and tireless advocate for providing the best possible education opportunities for hunters,” SEAFWA President Paul Johansen said. “Over his two decades of service, no other state in the...