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Seven Honored with NH Fish and Game Commission Awards of Excellence

Jon Charpentier: (603) 271-3211
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211

July 22, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission has honored seven individuals with Awards of Excellence for outstanding efforts in the conservation field in support of the N.H. Fish and Game Department’s mission.


"Those we are honoring have all made a significant contribution to the mission of New Hampshire’s wildlife agency, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department," said Commissioner Vincent Greco.

The 2014 Commission Award of Excellence (presented in 2015):

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George Embley of Webster received a Commission Volunteer Award of Excellence.  Embley has been the president of the Basil W. Woods, Jr., Chapter of Trout Unlimited and has spent countless hours identifying and inventorying wild brook trout streams and the condition of aquatic habitat in the Warner River Watershed. Last summer and fall, he led the charge to assess stream crossings there.


“George has served an invaluable role in support of the Fish and Game mission as a volunteer, volunteer coordinator and spokesman for wild trout and their habitats,” said Greco.



Paul Chartrain of Merrimack also earned a Volunteer Award of Excellence this year. Chartrain has volunteered for the “Let’s Go Fishing Program” for eight years. He puts in nearly 500 hours a year for Fish and Game, sharing his passion for fishing with kids and adults. As a lead instructor for Barry Conservation Camp’s fishing week, he spends the entire week at camp each year.


Commissioner Greco referenced the letter nominating Chartrain, saying: “Paul puts his heart and soul into educating these children. They are the hope and future of conserving N.H. Fish and Game’s mission."



The Habitat Stewardship Award was presented to Gray Cornwell of Madbury. Gray and his wife have partnered with the US Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service since 2008 to improve wildlife habitat on their 126-acre farm. They have rooted out invasive plants on 30-plus acres of their land, and have found and “released” several dozen apple trees, as well as seeding old log landings. A growing number of turkey and deer love it there!


In 2012, the Cornwells devoted six acres of the property to New England Cottontail habitat, and they actively promote conservation to their neighbors and friends.


“Fish and Game could not accomplish all it does without the support and enthusiasm of habitat stewards like the Cornwells,” said Commissioner Greco.



Three young men from the Nashua area, Patrick McCarthy, Douglas Barker, and Jack Gould, earned a joint Youth Conservationist Award of Excellence.


While they were students at Pennichuck Middle School in Nashua, these boys chose to support New Hampshire Fish and Game for their service-based learning project. They all love fishing, so they organized a fishing derby and raised over $200 for the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, Fish and Game’s nonprofit partner.


“These young men found a creative and fun way to be a part of preserving wildlife and helping research and development,” said Commissioner Greco. “It says a lot about our state that we have young people who value outdoor recreation and are willing to work together to improve the natural world. You are the future of this Department.”



Jerry Monkman of Portsmouth was honored with the Commission’s Communications Award of Excellence. As a photographer, film-maker and writer, Monkman is dedicated to raising awareness of the need for conservation. For over two decades, he has created photographs for organizations like the American Forest Foundation, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, as well as Fish and Game. He photographed piping plover nests in the early days of Fish and Game’s effort to help these endangered birds. Over the years, Monkman has photographed more than 120 conservation projects.


In presenting the award, Greco applauded the impact of Monkman’s artistry, saying, “Jerry Monkman’s exceptional work communicates a powerful emotional connection between people and the outdoors, laying the foundation for public interest in conserving natural resources.”



WNTK Radio talk show host Janine Weins, formerly of Lyme, N.H., posthumously received a Commission Communication Award of Excellence. WNTK station manager Matt Cross accepted the award on her behalf.


“Janine left a legacy of local broadcasting that served her community well,” said Greco. Over the past twenty years, Weins hosted thousands of hours of community service radio interviews. She frequently had Fish and Game commissioners and staff on her show, bringing discussions about fishing, hunting and eating wild game to a broader audience.

“This well-loved local radio personality covered the issues in a comfortable, personal way, from wild game suppers to the politics of funding Fish and Game,” said Greco.



The Commission’s highest honor is the Ellis R. Hatch Junior Award of Excellence. Former Commissioner Ellis Hatch was the first recipient of this award, which now bears his name, and he was there to personally present the 2014 Ellis Hatch Award to State Representative Gene Chandler of Bartlett.


Chandler is now in his thirteenth term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, where he has been a steadfast supporter of the Fish and Game Department. When he was Speaker of the House, he was the prime sponsor of the bill to rename the Jones Pond Wildlife Area to its present name – the Ellis R. Hatch Wildlife Management Area. He also sponsored the bill that created the Hike Safe Card, which is bringing in much-needed revenue for search and rescue activities.


Hatch applauded Chandler for looking out for the sportsmen and women of New Hampshire over the past 32 years. “He has been one of the Department’s true supporters, never looking for recognition; I am pleased to present him with this well-deserved award,” said Hatch.



There are seven award categories for New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission Awards of Excellence. Nominations are accepted each year, and must be submitted by December 31. Please consider nominating a worthy individual or organization for this year's awards! For a description of the various award categories and a nomination form, visit

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