The Arkansas Wildlife Federation’s Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards are presented each year to individuals, organizations, and corporations who have gone above and beyond in the conservation of our wildlife and natural resources. The program brings awareness of conservation practices and projects to the public by recognizing conservation leadership in Arkansas.
The award categories include:
Harold Alexander Conservationist of the Year — The highest honor presented by AWF to an individual for sustained and broadly significant conservation work.
Rex Hancock Wildlife Conservationist of the Year — Presented for outstanding contributions to the management, enhancement, and/or restoration of wildlife resources in Arkansas.
Dr. John L. Gray Forestry Conservationist of the Year — Presented for outstanding leadership in the management of our state’s forest resources.
Water Conservationist of the Year — Presented for outstanding contributions to the management, enhancement, and/or restoration of fisheries resources or improvement of water quality in Arkansas.
Carol Griffee Conservation Communicator of the Year — Presented for outstanding conservation media work.
Corporate Conservationist of the Year — Presented for significant efforts by an Arkansas business toward environmental restoration or habitat/resource stewardship.
Conservationist Organization of the Year — Presented for outstanding conservation achievement by a state or local organization.
Conservation Educator of the Year — Presented for outstanding performance in conservation education by a professional or volunteer.
Student Conservationist of the Year — Presented to a young Arkansan who has demonstrated conservation leadership through a personal commitment to conserving the state’s resources and protecting the environment.
Nominations are now open for all awards with a May 1 deadline for submissions. Please go to arwild.org and click the "what we do" tab, then "Governor's Conservation Achievement Awards" tab to make your nominations or contact email@example.com for more information.
Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards will be presented to recipients on August 12 at the AWF Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Banquet held at the James “Jitters” Morgan White Hall Community Center in White Hall.
Arkansas Wildlife Federation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) founded in1936 to promote conservation, responsible management and sustainable use of Arkansas’s fish, wildlife, natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities through education and advocacy. AWF is a non-partisan organization. Hunters, anglers, birders, naturalists and outdoors enthusiasts of all types make up its membership.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation (AWF) joined 56 conservation organizations across the US in asking the Trump administration to include sportsmen’s outdoor infrastructure in Trump’s infrastructure package. Written on behalf of outdoor enthusiasts numbering in the millions, the letter thanked President Trump for his commitment to America’s sportsmen and women. It also applauded the nominations of Rep. Ryan Zinke as secretary of interior and Gov. Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture. Both are sportsmen who understand our nation’s conservation heritage. The letter describes an opportunity for the Trump administration to advance three campaign promises — creating American jobs, revitalizing rural America, and honoring the conservation legacy of Theodore Roosevelt — simultaneously.
America’s outdoor economy is one of the strongest facets of our nation’s economy generating more than $646 billion in annual economic benefit, supporting 6.1 million jobs, and attracting more than 140 million participants including nearly 40 million hunters and anglers. In Arkansas, $10 billion is spent yearly to enjoy the outdoors according to the Outdoor Industry Association. The Arkansas outdoor recreation industry supports 126,000 Arkansas jobs, supplies $2.9 billion in wages, and $696 million in state and local tax revenue. This robust outdoor economy depends upon healthy and accessible public lands, clean water, clean air, and abundant wildlife populations. Arkansas, as well as the rest of the US, would benefit from outdoor infrastructure funding. Investment in restoration projects at the state level would drive non-regulatory collaboration to save at-risk wildlife avoiding expensive regulatory and litigation actions taken through the Endangered Species Act. Investing in restoration would also create jobs and strengthen America’s economy.
Advancing bipartisan sportsman legislation would expand hunting and fishing access and create jobs by implementing key on-the-ground conservation and natural infrastructure projects through the North American Wetland Conservation Act, National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act, and a modernized Land and Water Conservation Fund. Sportsman legislation as a bipartisan solution is needed to address the fire funding crisis, improve wildlife habitat restoration, timber yields, and recreational opportunities.
During his confirmation hearing, Rep. Zinke discussed a significant maintenance backlog for our federal public lands and tribal lands. In 2014 AWF and two affiliates, Friends of Delaware Park and Friends of Cane Creek Park, rallied to keep two US Corps of Engineers parks along the Arkansas River open to the public. Both parks were scheduled to be closed because of maintenance budget cutbacks. Sportsman infrastructure legislation would address maintenance backlog and create tens of thousands of jobs.
With Trump’s infrastructure package and bipartisan support we can maximize economic growth while restoring fish and wildlife populations, expanding access to public lands, ensuring clean air and water, and creating more outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation, the oldest conservation organization in Arkansas, advocates for the sustainable use of Arkansas’ wildlife habitats and natural resources for future generations. To view the Sportsmen’s Outdoor Infrastructure Letter in its entirety, donate to AWF, or to become an AWF member, visit the Arkansas Wildlife Federation’s website at www.arwild.org.
Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of the millions of hunters, anglers, shooters, and outdoor enthusiasts that our organizations represent, we write to thank you for your commitment to America’s sportsmen and women. We especially want to thank you for nominating Representative Ryan Zinke to serve as Secretary of Interior and Governor Sonny Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture, both of whom are sportsmen who understand our nation’s conservation heritage.
We write because we believe that there is an opportunity for your Administration to advance three campaign promises simultaneously—creating American jobs, revitalizing rural America, and honoring the conservation legacy of Theodore Roosevelt—by including strategic investments in America’s outdoor economy into the President’s infrastructure package.
America’s outdoor economy is one of the fastest growing parts of our nation’s economy, generating more than $646 billion in annual economic benefit, supporting 6.1 million jobs, and attracting more than 140 million participants (including nearly 40 million hunters and anglers). This burgeoning sector depends upon healthy and accessible public lands, clean water, clean air, and abundant wildlife populations. Investments in natural infrastructure as part of an infrastructure package would bolster the outdoor economy, while creating more jobs (15-28 per $1 million invested) and producing a greater return on investment ($2-2.62 return per $1 invested) than other types of investments because most of the investment goes into labor. Investments in natural infrastructure are an opportunity to significantly improve wildlife habitat and water quality while securing dramatic infrastructure investment savings for the taxpayer. Importantly, many of the jobs created would be in rural communities facing high unemployment.
We specifically encourage the Administration to dedicate 5% of the $1 trillion infrastructure package ($5 billion/year) toward natural infrastructure and conservation investments that will grow America’s outdoor economy, including:
1.Recover America’s Wildlife: Much of the outdoor economy is predicated on healthy wildlife populations, yet thousands of wildlife species are at-risk with more than 1,500 listings pending under the Endangered Species Act. Investing in restoration projects at the state-level (through the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration program at $1.3B/year) will drive non- regulatory collaboration to save at-risk wildlife, reduce the need for expensive “emergency room” measures, and avoid tens of billions of dollars in regulatory/ litigation paralysis—all of which create jobs and strengthen America’s economy. The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources stands ready to help.
2.Advance Bipartisan Sportsman Legislation: America’s sportsmen have been waiting more than six years for bipartisan sportsmen legislation that expands hunting and fishing access and creates jobs by implementing key on-the-ground conservation and natural infrastructure projects through the North American Wetland Conservation Act, National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act, and a modernized Land and Water Conservation Fund.
3.Confront Forest Fire Crisis: Larger and more frequent wildfires are harming local rural economies, affecting millions of acres of wildlife habitat, and consuming more than half of the U.S. Forest Service budget. There are broadly supported bipartisan solutions that will address the fire funding crisis and improve the agency’s ability to restore wildlife habitat, increase timber yields, and expand recreational opportunities—all of which create jobs.
4.Address Maintenance Backlog: As Rep. Zinke discussed during his confirmation hearing, there is a significant maintenance backlog for our National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, Bureau of Land Management Lands, and Tribal lands. This backlog is hindering the growth of the outdoor economy, contributing to conflicts with local communities, and preventing millions of outdoor enthusiasts from enjoying public lands and spending money in local economies. Such investments will create tens of thousands of jobs.
5.Restore Degraded Habitat: Restoring degraded wildlife habitat on private lands and large landscapes would spur significant rural job growth, while reconnecting key wildlife migratory corridors and cleaning up contaminated waterways. For example, there is bipartisan support for investing a portion of the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund in habitat restoration that could help put people back to work, revitalize communities, and expand hunting and fishing opportunities. Similarly, restoring degraded grasslands and coastal and inland wetlands would increase duck and pheasant populations and hunting opportunities, while strengthening local economies.
In addition to accelerating the growth of America’s outdoor economy, we suggest that projects across the entire package be encouraged to enhance wildlife habitat and expand hunter and angler access to lands and waterways. We also recommend that the Administration adopt a simple proposition when considering how best to pay for the infrastructure package: If public resources are taken out of the ground, some of the monetized value should be put back into the ground through investments in conservation and natural infrastructure, as listed above. This principle will ensure that wealth and jobs are not transferred out of rural America and that we are instead “leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us,” as Theodore Roosevelt envisioned.
Including the investments above in your infrastructure package will create significant jobs and help ensure that you and your administration leave a conservation legacy worthy of President Roosevelt himself. Together, we will show that we can maximize economic growth, while also restoring fish and wildlife populations, expanding access to public lands, ensuring clean air and water, and creating more outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans. Thank you for embracing hunting, fishing and our nation’s outdoor heritage.
Alabama Wildlife Federation
National Wild Turkey Federation
Archery Trade Association
National Wildlife Federation
Arkansas Wildlife Federation
National Wildlife Refuge Association
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Nevada Wildlife Federation
Boone and Crockett Club
New Mexico Wildlife Federation
Camp Fire Club of America
North American Grouse Partnership
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
North Carolina Wildlife Federation
Conservation Federation of Missouri
North Dakota Wildlife Federation
Orion- The Hunter's Institute
Council to Advance Hunting and the
Dallas Safari Club
Quality Deer Management Association
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Ruffed Grouse Society
Florida Wildlife Federation
Shikar Safari Club International
Georgia Wildlife Federation
South Carolina Wildlife Federation
Houston Safari Club
South Dakota Wildlife Federation
Indiana Wildlife Federation
Iowa Wildlife Federation
Tennessee Wildlife Federation
Izaak Walton League of America
The Conservation Fund
Kansas Wildlife Federation
The Wildlife Society
Louisiana Wildlife Federation
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation
Masters of Foxhounds Association
Michigan United Conservation Clubs
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Mississippi Wildlife Federation
Wild Sheep Foundation
Montana Wildlife Federation
Wildlife Management Institute
National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation
National Trappers Association
Wyoming Wildlife Federation
In coordination with the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, US Forest Service biologist Warren Montague will deliver a presentation about pine/bluestem restoration within the Ouachita National Forest and its beneficial impacts on northern bobwhite quail and other species.Thanks to Warren’s work, this part of western Arkansas still contains the state’s largest bobwhite quail populations.
The presentation will take place on February 25 at the Janet Huckabee/River Valley Nature Center in Fort Smith from noon - 12:30 and will be followed by a brief question and answer session with Warren.
This educational presentation is free and open to the public.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation opposes the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and asks Senator John Boozeman and Senator Tom Cotton to reject Pruitt’s nomination.
Ellen McNulty, board president of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, expressed her concerns to Senator Boozeman in an email:
"As president of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, I take great pride in leading the oldest conservation organization in Arkansas. AWF is a nonpartisan, conservative organization that advocates for the sustainable use of Arkansas' wildlife habitats and natural resources for future generations. Our board is composed of democrats and republicans that work together for the state of Arkansas to support science-based decision making and to make sure that our nation's environmental laws are enforced. Our great nation as well as the resource rich and bountiful state of Arkansas deserves an EPA Administrator that will put the interest of the American people above those of special interests. For that reason, I oppose the cabinet nomination of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Mr. Pruitt's record and policy positions represent a stark contrast to past Republican Party conservation legacy. Past Republicans worked tirelessly to develop and pass the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Republican leaders were in the forefront to find solutions to threats depleting the ozone layer and coastal resources, acid rain and cross-state air pollution, and to better protect millions of acres of wetlands. Sound science was the foundation of each of these accomplishments.
Mr. Pruitt does not share America's bipartisan conservation values and I am asking you and Senator Cotton to oppose his nomination by voting no.”
AWF encourages its members and affiliates to contact Senator Boozeman’s and Senator Cotton’s offices and urge them to reject Pruitt’s nomination.
Direct numbers to the senators’ offices:
Senator Cotton 202-224-2353
Senator Boozman 202-224-4843
Founded in 1936, the Arkansas Wildlife Federation is a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. The NWF’s statement regarding their opposition to Pruitt’s nomination can be viewed here.
For more information about the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, visit arwild.org
The Arkansas Wildlife federation, Arkansas’s oldest non-profit conservation organization, is pleased to announce the appointment of Johnny Carrol Sain as interim executive director.
Sain is a graduate of Arkansas Tech University with a BA in journalism and minor in biology. His resume includes 15 years of sales and marketing prior to becoming a freelance writer and editor focusing on the environment, nature, hunting, fishing, and rural culture. Sain is an Arkansas native from Atkins and currently resides in Dover.
“I’m excited to join Arkansas Wildlife Federation and work to protect Arkansas’s wild places and wild things,” said Sain. “I look forward to helping the organization grow and increase its relevancy with the citizens of the Natural State as well as our political leaders.”
“The Arkansas Wildlife Federation is very fortunate to have Johnny Sain as our interim executive director,” said Arkansas Wildlife Federation board president Ellen McNulty. “The organization looks forward to Johnny's leadership and his thought provoking perspective on everything outdoors. Johnny has proven himself to be one of Arkansas' best up and coming outdoor writers. Johnny has deep roots in Arkansas. His ability to connect people to the land gives hunters, anglers, and all other outdoor recreationists insight to the many positive ways our beautiful state sustains us all.”
Arkansas Wildlife Federation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) founded in1936 to promote conservation, responsible management and sustainable use of Arkansas’s fish, wildlife, natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities through education and advocacy. AWF is a non-partisan organization. Hunters, anglers, birders, naturalists and outdoors enthusiasts of all types make up its membership.
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation is the state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation and actively supports issues of national importance such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund, restoring the Clean Water Act to its original intent, and keeping federal public lands open and available to the public. Arkansas-specific issues include supporting the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and all efforts to keep the agency’s autonomous status, protecting Arkansas’ special places like the Buffalo National River, the nation’s first national river, and working on multi-agency and organization restoration projects like Bearcat Hollow.
For more information about the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, visit arwild.org
Arkansas has been blessed with a bounty of fish and wildlife, managed and protected through Amendment 35 to the State Constitution, creating the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC). However, while our AGFC has had great success in restoring game species that were once in decline, many non-game species are facing increasing challenges, declining across the spectrum from songbirds to reptiles to amphibians. However, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 5650), introduced by Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI), would help avert this crisis by dedicating $1.3 billion annually nationwide, from existing revenue from energy development on federal lands and waters, to states to solve this conservation challenge.
Arkansas’ share of this $1.3 billion is estimated to be around $14.7 million per year. That can be significant in keeping species of conservation concern off the endangered species list!
With support from all of us and leadership from members of Congress to direct dedicated funding for proactive conservation measures, these species at high risk of becoming endangered can be spared.
As members of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, we need you to reach out to your U.S. Representative and ask them to co-sponsor this non-partisan bill and support our nation’s precious fish and wildlife. WE'VE MADE IT EASY FOR YOU TO SEND A MESSAGE TO YOUR U.S. Representative. Simply click the “TAKE ACTION” box and enter your name and zip code. A message of support will be sent to your Arkansas representatives. (Feel free to add a personal message to the prepared narrative as well)
This new funding would be mandated to target species identified in the Arkansas Wildlife Action Plan (AWAP) with priorities determined by a database of scientific knowledge of wildlife. A total of 369 species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) are addressed in the context of 45 terrestrial habitats and 18 aquatic habitats in 7 ecoregions in Arkansas.
Game species like white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bear and more, have been saved from declining populations because of dedicated funding through hunting and fishing license fees and excise taxes on hunting and fishing. Despite the success with many game species, there has never been significant investment in the conservation of the full diversity of wildlife species. Non-game species now face threats to their very survival from habitat fragmentation, climate impacts, invasive species, and disease. Many times, all that is left is protection under the Endangered Species Act. No one wins when a species is declared endangered! The Endangered Species Act was originally intended to be an “emergency” measure to be used in tragic situations. Once a species reaches dire circumstances, it is much harder and more expensive to recover. Regulatory obstacles make doing business more difficult for farmers, ranchers, developers, builders, and others. A non-regulatory and proactive approach to conservation is good for wildlife, good for taxpayers and good for business. H.R. 5650 provides funding to slow or stop this cycle of loss.
The GOOD NEWS is this wildlife funding is not new taxes but is capturing existing revenue from oil and gas receipts.
The Arkansas Wildlife Action Plan, mandated by Congress for all states to develop for determining species of greatest conservation, implements the priorities determined by a database of scientific knowledge of wildlife of greatest conservation need. Arkansas’ SGCN are addressed in the context of 45 terrestrial habitats and 18 aquatic habitats in 7 ecoregions. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) is responsible for requesting proposals and administering State Wildlife Grants to support the implementation of AWAP. The competitive grants are distributed specifically for the protection and management of nongame species in greatest need of conservation identified in the AWAP. The grant process provides state and federal agencies and other conservation partners the means to efficiently and effectively fit individual and coordinated conservation efforts across the state. (The AWAP can be reviewed at: www.agfc.com/species/Pages/SpeciesWildlifeActionPlan.aspx )
This successful conservation foundation is provided by the State and Tribal Wildlife Grant program. The problem lies in program funding. A survey of all State Wildlife Actions Plans revealed that $1.3 billion annually is what it would cost to implement 75% of every state’s plan. With 25% match from states, $1.3 billion would be sufficient to implement State Wildlife Action Plans and hasten the recovery of thousands of species. (Current funding is only 4.65% of what is necessary to conserve our nation’s species of greatest conservation need.)
Long-term pressures (and political attacks) on the Endangered Species Act would be reduced. The states would be held accountable through the implementation and oversight of the state’s Wildlife Action Plans, which will ensure that the resources are spent appropriately on the highest conservation priorities. The funding would be allocated to each state and territory, per an existing formula, from existing federal royalties from oil/gas/coal extraction onshore and offshore, similar (and complimentary) to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Arkansas’ share would be about 1.7% or $14.7 million.
By clicking on the “TAKE ACTION” box below and completing the form you can help convince your US Representative to co-sponsor and support H.R. 5650, critical to the future of wildlife in Arkansas and across the Nation. By entering your information and zip code, your message will be sent to your Arkansas representative.
Give us a call if you have any questions about this vital legislation!
Newsletter Coordinator and District Director
Arkansas Wildlife Federation
While the majority of Americans cherish our national public lands, sporting and outdoor organizations note that a small group of state and federal lawmakers and their allies are trying to dismantle the network of public lands that is a cornerstone of our economy and national identity.
In response, forty sportsmen’s and outdoor organizations from across the country today released a letter asking all the presidential candidates to publicly state their support for our national public lands – the places we hunt, fish and recreate and that sustain our fish and wildlife populations.
The following organizations, representing millions of hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers and other outdoors enthusiasts, have asked candidates to publicly commit to “keeping public lands in public hands:
Archery Trade Association · Arizona Wildlife Federation · Arkansas Wildlife Federation Association of Northwest Steelheaders · Backcountry Hunters and Anglers · Bear Trust International · Campfire Club of America · Colorado Wildlife Federation · Conservation Federation of Missouri · Conservation Force · Conservation Northwest · Dallas Safari Club Houston · Safari Club · Idaho Wildlife Federation · Iowa Wildlife Federation · Kansas Wildlife Federation · Louisiana Wildlife Federation · Masters of Foxhounds Association · Mississippi Wildlife Federation · National Trappers Association · National Wild Turkey Federation · National Wildlife Federation · Nevada Wildlife Federation · New Mexico Wildlife Federation · North American Grouse Partnership · North Carolina Wildlife Federation · North Dakota Wildlife Federation · Orion the Hunter’s Institute · Public Lands Foundation · Quality Deer Management Association · Shikar Safari Club International · Sportsmen’s Alliance · South Dakota Wildlife Federation · Tennessee Wildlife Federation · Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership · Tread Lightly! · Trout Unlimited · Whitetails Unlimited · Wildlife Management Institute · Wyoming Wildlife Federation
Learn more about our battle to stop the sell-off of our public lands by clicking here.
June 18th- the National Wildlife Federation recognized Ellen McNulty, President of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation as the Affiliate Volunteer of the Year.
"Ellen McNulty’s tireless efforts at the Arkansas Wildlife Federation have benefited the state of Arkansas, its waters and its wildlife,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Ellen’s expertise in water policy and farming made her an indispensable voice of reason—whether she is fighting for the protection of the Buffalo National River or the Clean Water Rule. Time and time again, Ellen McNulty has shown that her grace and passion can result in amazing accomplishments.”
In receiving her award Ellen said: "I felt very honored but also humbled to receive the award in front of many of the people that I admire the most. NWF is an awesome organization that empowers state affiliates to work on local conservation issues as well as national issues. AWF is fortunate to be a part of a national network of sportsmen and women that enjoy the outdoors and want to protect and conserve wildlife for future generations."
The ceremony took place at the National Wildlife Federation’s annual meeting and its celebration of the 80th anniversary of its founding, held in Estes Park, Colorado.
Read the press release here: McNulty - Volunteer of the Year.docx
"The governor needs to act immediately to stop the hog CAFO operation until a well can be dug to test the substance in the plume underneath the ponds. If it is found to contain hog waste, the operation should be shut down and a clean up plan developed and implemented to lessen the damage as much as possible to the groundwater, ecosystem, and national river."
Click Here to Sign the Petition
Arkansas Wildlife Federation / P.O. Box 56380 / Little Rock, AR 72215Call: 501-414-2845 or Email: Info@arwild.org Questions about website or membership renewals: 479-459-5889