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April 16, 2009

Fish and Game Commission Honors Four for Commitment to Conservation

2008 Fish and Game Commission Awardees

NEWS MEDIA: Click to download a high-res image 

Mike Morrison
Mike Morrison - winner, Volunteer award - with his wife, Sherry  
Meade Cadot
Meade Cadot - winner, Ellis R. Hatch Jr. Commission Award of Excellence  
Bob Washburn
Robert C. Washburn - winner, Communication award - with his wife, Ranee
NHWF award
Representing the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation, winner, Conservation Organization award - (left to right) Bob Dufresne, Richard Olson, Sam Demeritt, and Alan Lutz.  

CONCORD, N.H. -- Four New Hampshire citizens and organizations have been recognized by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission with Awards of Excellence for their efforts in the conservation field in support of the N.H. Fish and Game Department's mission.

"These annual awards allow us to recognize outstanding efforts to further the work of the Fish and Game Department in conserving and managing our fish, wildlife and marine resources," said N.H. Fish and Game Commission Chair Robert Phillipson Jr.

The 2008 Commission Award of Excellence recipients:

H. Meade Cadot, Jr., of Hancock won the Ellis R. Hatch Jr. Commission Award of Excellence. Cadot has been a fixture in New Hampshire's conservation community since the early 1970s, as an educator, pioneer in land protection and communicator about the importance of protecting our state's rich natural heritage. The Fish and Game Commission honored Meade for his work in conservation education and protection of ecologically significant lands, both pursuits of keen interest to the namesake of the award, Ellis Hatch.

Cadot's passion for conservation has had influence throughout the state and beyond -- but his greatest success has been in the Monadnock region, where he has lived and worked for some 33 years. His land protection leadership has resulted in what Cadot has named a supersanctuary of more than 20,000 acres in cooperation with other conservation organizations in New Hampshire.

Cadot's success in environmental education and habitat protection furthers the basic principles of Fish and Game's mission. He is dedicated to helping children and adults alike develop a deep respect for the natural world. Those who have been touched by his lessons will be among the future leaders of conservation in New Hampshire.

Robert C. Washburn of Concord, "Hunter's Corner" columnist for the Concord Monitor, won the Communication award. Washburn is a favorite with local readers -- both hunters and non-hunters -- for his columns featuring the latest in wildlife happenings, equipment updates and stories about his time spent outdoors. He reaches out to a variety of different people, from Fish and Game staff to sporting goods stores to industry representatives, to get the latest information.

For many readers, Washburn provides an exciting glimpse into the outdoors; he has surely led people to try new outdoor activities, supporting New Hampshire traditions that remain the mainstay of the Fish and Game Department. "I've enjoyed two decades of writing this column, which focuses on my passions for hunting and the outdoors," Washburn said after accepting the award. Washburn and his fellow outdoor writers are important partners in communicating Fish and Game's work and promoting participation in hunting and fishing, as well as awareness of safety and environmental/habitat issues. With a diminishing number of newspaper pages dedicated to outdoor pursuits, efforts of columnists like Washburn have become key to representing outdoor interests in the mainstream media.

The New Hampshire Wildlife Federation won the Conservation Organization award, based on its work to keep land open to hunting and fishing in New Hampshire.

Founded in 1933 as the Federated Sportsmen's Club of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation is one of the oldest and most effective conservation organizations in New Hampshire. Throughout the organization's 75-year history, the Federation has worked with and supported Fish and Game. As the state's first and primary advocate of hunter and angler access, the Federation has long been at the forefront of these efforts.

Recognizing the significance of access to private land to the future of hunting, the Federation became the first organization to become a partner in Operation Land Share, Fish and Game's newest Landowner Relations Program initiative, which serves as the foundation of the agency's efforts to work in partnership with hunters and landowners to maintain and increase hunting access to private lands. NHWF participating as the first partner donated $1,000 to this effort.

As a conservation organization and advocate for New Hampshire hunters, the Federation has been instrumental in efforts to maintain access for present and future generations of New Hampshire hunters. It has also been an invaluable partner in N.H. Becoming an Outdoors-Woman and other Fish and Game projects.

"We're honored and humbled to be recognized for our conservation efforts and working with Fish and Game," said Bob Dufresne, the Federation's communications director. He was joined in accepting the award by Federation president Sam Demeritt; conservation committee chair Alan Lutz; and board member Richard Olson. All four are also volunteer Hunter Education instructors for Fish and Game.

Michael Morrison of Swanzey won this year's Volunteer award. Morrison serves as a volunteer instructor for Fish and Game's hunter education and trapper education programs, and has helped in many other capacities at Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness and at Discover WILD New Hampshire Day.

In addition, Morrison has done some extraordinary work in his region. He established one of the few student hunting and fishing clubs in the state, at the Monadnock Regional High School, and has been able to provide hunting and trapping education programs in a school setting, almost unheard of in recent years. Working with the school, Morrison has brought in experts to teach fly tying and casting; taken students on field trips to fish or shoot; and taken students to local Conservation Commission meetings to learn more about conservation at the local level.

Morrison's own enthusiasm and enjoyment of the outdoors has inspired the students. He served as an advisor to student senior projects that re-established vegetation along the Ashuelot River and replanted trees in an area that was recently excavated, all for the benefit of habitat and N.H. fish and wildlife.

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This is the fourth year for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission Awards of Excellence. There are seven award categories, and nominations must be submitted by December 31 of each year. For a description of the awards and award categories, as well as profiles of past winners, go to www.wildnh.com/Inside_FandG/commission_awards.html (click here). The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.


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