Seven Honored for Helping Safeguard America’s Valuable Natural Resources

September 23, 2019

Today at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting, seven organizations and individuals were honored by their peers as recipients of the Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources.  The Climate Adaptation Leadership Award, established in 2016, recognizes exemplary leadership by individuals, agencies, businesses and other organizations to reduce impacts and advance adaptation of the Nation’s vital natural resources and the many people who depend on them in a changing world.

Recipients were selected from 20 nominations representing activities from individuals and federal, tribal, state, local, and non‐governmental organizations from around the country.

The seven awardees are:
Individual Achievement Category: Jessica Halofsky, University of Washington and USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station

Nongovernmental Organization Category: Brian Obermeyer & Chris Hise, Site Wind Right, The Nature Conservancy

State or Local Category: Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Plan, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Broad Partnership Category: Gunnison Basin Wet Meadow and Riparian Restoration Collaborative  

Federal Government Category: Tidal Marsh and Barrier Beach Restoration, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Tribal Category: Dibaginjigaadeg Anishinaabe Ezhitwaad – A Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu, Tribal Adaptation Menu Team

Student Leadership Category: Tracy Melvin, Michigan State University

“From heat waves to droughts and floods, changing climate poses growing risks to the nation’s valuable fish and wildlife and the many people, businesses and communities that depend on them,” stated Ed Carter, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Executive Director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. “This year’s awardees have done outstanding work to help safeguard species, habitats and communities in a changing world, and we are thrilled to recognize these important efforts.”

Our Nation’s natural resources provide important benefits and services to Americans every day, including jobs, income, food, clean water and air, building materials, storm protection, tourism and recreation. For example, hunting, fishing and other wildlife‐related recreation contribute an estimated $120 billion to our nation's economy every year, and marine ecosystems sustain a U.S. seafood industry that supports more than 1.8 million jobs and $214 billion in economic activity annually.

The Award is sponsored and guided by the Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards Steering Committee and is made up of representatives from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and various Federal agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For more information about the 2019 Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards for Natural Resources, including the recipients and honorable mentions, please visit the Climate Adaptation Leadership Award website.

For more information please contact Maggie Ernest Johnson at or 202-838-3464.

The Award recognizes outstanding efforts to advance adaptation of fish, wildlife and plants as called for in the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy—a   unified nationwide effort reflecting shared principles and science-based practices for addressing the threats of a changing climate on fish, wildlife, plants, and the natural systems upon which they depend. 

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The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.​​​​​​