News about Association actions, agencies, and individual members.

Robert Boyles Selected as National Fish Habitat Board Chairman

The National Fish Habitat Board (Board) will kick off its first meeting of 2023 with a new Board Chairman. With the retirement of National Fish Habitat Board Chairman, Ed Schriever, the Board has announced a successor, Robert Boyles, Director of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Boyles was appointed to the seat on the Board held by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), which is designated to Chair the Board per the 2020 America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (ACE Act). Mr. Boyles becomes the fifth Chairman of the Board following John Cooper (SD), Kelly...

Partnering for Wildlife: The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study
(By Stacia Pelletier. Portions shared here are courtesy of UGA Research Magazine)

COVID-19 isn’t the only contagious disease sweeping across American shores. Earlier this year, the team at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) in UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine confirmed the first cases of a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in three bald eagles in Georgia. The news set off alarm bells in the Georgia wildlife community.

“It’s an unprecedented outbreak,” said Nicole Nemeth, associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and head of the wildlife research and diagnostic service at SCWDS. “Sometimes influenza virus comes...

Forest Service's Dennis Krusac Named 2022 C.W. Watson Award Recipient
West Virginia

The C.W. Watson Award is the most prestigious award given by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. This award was established in 1964 to recognize individuals who have contributed the most to fish and wildlife conservation. The 2022 winner of the award, Dennis Krusac, endangered species specialist with the USDA Forest Service in Atlanta, GA, has maintained the tradition of conservation excellence in the Southeast for his entire 43-year career. Dennis stood out for his development of innovative conservation and education programs, managing habitat for many species...

WVDNR Wildlife Resources Chief honored for service
Paul Johansen received the SEAFWA's Past President Award
West Virginia

A West Virginia Division of Natural Resources official has been honored by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies for his years or service. Paul Johansen, chief of the WVDNR's Wildlife Resources section, received the SEAFWA's Past President Award at the association's conference last week in Charleston.

“State wildlife agencies have benefitted immensely from Paul's leadership and knowledge and it's an honor for me to work alongside him and to call him a friend," said J.D. Strong, director of Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservations. “Paul is a...

WVDNR staff honored for contributions to expanded public lands
Gary Foster and Cliff Brown received a SEAFWA Special Recognition Award
West Virginia

Two retired West Virginia Division of Natural Resources staff members were honored this week by the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies for their work expanding wildlife management areas in the state by more than 100,000 acres.

Gary Foster, retired assistant chief of game management, and Cliff Brown, retired environmental resource analyst, received a Special Recognition Award this week at the association’s conference in Charleston. 

"Gary Foster and Cliff Brown were primarily responsible for the success of major land...

David Yoskowitz Named TPWD Executive Director

David Yoskowitz, Ph.D. was named executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department today at a special meeting of the TPW Commission in Austin, Texas. Yoskowitz is currently the senior executive director and Endowed Chair for Socioeconomics at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Commissioners took action to accept the recommendation of the search committee in a public meeting. The search committee included TPW Commission Chairman Arch Aplin, and commissioners Anna Galo, Jeffery Hildebrand, and Oliver...

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

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. 15, 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

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

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...