Michigan DNR Biologist Awarded Prestigious Henry S. Mosby Award
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – -(OutdoorWire.com)- Bath, Michigan, resident Al Stewart, the upland game bird specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), was honored with the prestigious Henry S. Mosby Award at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) 33rd annual Convention and Sport Show held Feb. 19 to Feb. 22 in Nashville, Tenn.
The Mosby Award is named for Dr. Henry Mosby, whose research with wild turkeys in the mid 1900s set the standard for their management. He also helped found The Wildlife Society and was the winner of its highest honor the Aldo Leopold Medal.
For more than 30 years Stewart dedicated his career to conservation. Stewart was instrumental in enhancing the Michigan’s popular wild turkey cooperator patch program. The wild turkey cooperator patch program was initiated in 1988 as a voluntary incentive for hunters in exchange for cooperator patch by mailing feathers to wildlife biologists. Michigan students in grades K-12 created each year’s patch design through a contest. Stewart also championed the causes of the disabled and made it easier for everyone to access the great outdoors.
In 1992, President George H. Bush and Congressman Dave Camp gave Stewart the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Award for his work on a barrier-free viewing and hunting platform at the Maple River State Game Area. In 1998, the NWTF Michigan State chapter awarded him the Outstanding Conservationist Award. In 2000, the Arizona Fish and Game Department selected Stewart to assist with the Gould’s wild turkey restoration in Arizona. In 2005, he served as coordinator of the 9th Annual NWTF Wild Turkey Symposium.
“Al Stewart has shown unequaled dedication to conservation and wild turkeys throughout his career,” said James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., NWTF’s chief conservation officer. “His work through the wild turkey cooperator patch program has brought the great story of wild turkey conservation to the children and hunters of Michigan.”
Stewart and his wife, Patricia, who serves as the MDNR’s chief communications officer, are the parents of two sons, Chris and Tom.
Since 1985 NWTF’s volunteers in cooperation with the MDNR have spent nearly $2.9 million on habitat enhancements, wild turkey research, law enforcement and outreach programs. NWTF’s efforts include spending more than $1.5 million on habitat improvement projects for maintaining and developing brood habitat and wildlife openings, conducting prescribed fires, planting trees, restoring riparian area, completing water development projects, controlling invasive plant species and supporting seed subsidy and conservation seed programs — improving habitat for more than 57,886 acres within the state.
2009 Convention Sponsors
Bank of America, Bass Pro Shops, Browning, Call Makers and Collectors Association of America, Chevrolet, Crescent Cardboard Co., LLC, Federal Premium Ammunition, Foxy Huntress, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Knight Rifles, Leupold & Stevens, Longleaf Camo, Marlin Firearm/H&R 1871 LLC, Mathews Bows, Inc., MeadWestvaco, Motorola, Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, National Band and Tag, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., Outdoor Channel, The Outdoor Connection, Inc., Remington Arms Company, Inc., S.C. State Chapter, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Tennessee State Chapter, The Sportsman Channel, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, Weatherby, Inc., Weyerhaeuser, Wild Turkey Bourbon and Winchester Olin
About the NWTF: In 1973, Tom Rodgers founded the National Wild Turkey Federation in Fredericksburg, Va., as a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission dedicated to conserving wild turkeys and preserving hunting traditions. Shortly thereafter, Rodgers relocated the NWTF to Edgefield, S.C., where it’s still headquartered today.
At the time NWTF was established, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America, thanks to the efforts of state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members and partners.
Growth and progress define the NWTF as it has expanded from 1,300 members in 1973 to nearly a half million today. With that growth has come impressive strides in wildlife management as the NWTF has forged dynamic partnerships across the country to further its conservation mission. Together, the NWTF’s partners, sponsors and grassroots members have raised and spent more than $286 million upholding hunting traditions and conserving nearly 14 million acres of wildlife habitat.
While wild turkey restoration is nearing completion, the NWTF still has much work to do. Across North America, supporters are working to enhance habitat for wild turkeys and other wildlife while providing hunters with more opportunities and access to public and private land. In addition, NWTF volunteers and partners are introducing youth, women and people with disabilities to the outdoors through special educational events.
If you would like to become a member of Team NWTF, join a committee or start a chapter, please visit our Web site at www.nwtf.org or call us at 800-THE-NWTF.