The Alabama Wildlife Federation’s Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards are the most prestigious conservation awards in the state. For over 30 years, the awards have been presented to individuals and organizations that make great contributions to the conservation of our wildlife and related natural resources, the natural elements upon which all life depends.
The purpose of the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards program is to promote leadership by example and in turn increase conservation of the natural resources of the State of Alabama – its wildlife, forests, soils, water, and air. The program is designed to bring about a greater knowledge and awareness of conservation practices and projects, and to give proper recognition to those persons and organizations that make outstanding contributions to the natural resource welfare of the community and the state.

2015 NOMINATION DEADLINE: June 5, 2015

CONSERVATIONIST OF THE YEAR - For an individual who has excelled in an overall conservation effort, in environmental achievements, or other significant contribution to the conservation of natural resources.
CONSERVATION ORGANIZATION - For any formally organized group whose purposes are conservation of the state’s natural and environmental resources.
AIR CONSERVATIONIST - To recognize outstanding efforts of an individual, group, firm, or agency toward improvement of air quality in Alabama.
SOIL CONSERVATIONIST - To recognize outstanding achievement in the field of soil resource conservation, including watershed development and use planning.
FOREST CONSERVATIONIST - For an individual, group, firm or agency which has demonstrated outstanding leadership in management of forest resources. Fish and wildlife consideration must have been a major component in the recognized effort.
WATER CONSERVATIONIST - For outstanding contribution to water resource conservation, whether surface water, ground water or wetlands. Efforts focusing on protection and improvement of water quality are especially important.
WILDLIFE CONSERVATIONIST - To recognize private individuals, professionals, clubs, firms or agency staff whose outstanding wildlife resource conservation efforts demonstrate commitment and leadership.
CONSERVATION EDUCATOR - For outstanding contribution by a professional or volunteer, classroom teacher or scout troop leader, firm, or organization to conservation education, whether in the classroom or by other means. The scope of the effort and its effectiveness are of major consideration.
CONSERVATION COMMUNICATOR - To recognize the outstanding efforts of a journalist or media firm in communicating the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s conservation message to the general public.
LEGISLATIVE CONSERVATIONIST - For demonstration of an outstanding commitment to conservation and stewardship of Alabama’s natural resources in legislative matters.
JUDICIAL CONSERVATIONIST - For demonstration of an outstanding commitment to natural resource conservation, fish and wildlife, or land, air and water; and a significant contribution to conservation of those resources through judicial action.
YOUTH CONSERVATIONIST - For outstanding achievement by a youth, having not reached the age of 19 at the time of nomination, in resource conservation. Accomplishments may include, but need not be limited to on-the-ground projects for conservation of fish, wildlife habitat, air, soil, forest or water. Efforts in the field of public awareness, communication and education are also eligible for recognition.
CONSERVATION ENFORCEMENT OFFICER - For outstanding performance in enforcement of laws to protect Alabama’s natural resources. Must be a duly authorized officer of the law, and enforcement activity may be related to fish and wildlife, littering, or environmental laws or regulations.
HUNTER SAFETY INSTRUCTOR - For outstanding commitment and service to hunter education and safety instruction.
2014 Governor's Conservation Achievement Award Recipients

Hunter Safety Instructor of the Year
Larry Hutcherson, New Site

       For over 20 years, Larry Hutcherson has been a Hunter Education Instructor, assisting in the certification of over 2,000 Hunter Education graduates. He became a valuable member of the Tallapoosa County Hunter Education Team when it was formed in 1993, and continues play an important role in the program today.

       Larry is an expert on black powder and primitive weapons. His expertise covers the history of muzzle loading rifles and shotguns, and he uses that to insure that primitive weapon safety is well understood.
       Larry helps with Hunter Education classes in Tallapoosa, Chilton and Coosa counties. He also participates in Agriscience Education courses in schools, youth hunts, handicapped events, Women in the Outdoors, Advanced Hunter Education classes, field day shooting programs, conservation expos and various other special shooting events. He donates a tremendous amount of time and money to the education of young people in Alabama, and is eager to introduce them to our hunting traditions. His informative safety instruction has been given to an undocumented number of participants and undoubtedly has prevented many hunting accidents.
Conservation Enforcement Officer of the Year
Officer Greg Elrod, Fort Payne

       Officer Greg Elrod has served in DeKalb County as Conservation Enforcement Officer with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for twenty-five years. He has proven himself to be one of the hardest working officers in District II.
       During the 2013-14 deer hunting season he was directly involved with 85 arrests, warnings and assists for hunting violations. Many of the violations involved hunting at night, hunting without permission, hunting from a public road, hunting by aid of a motor vehicle. He also assisted Georgia Conservation Enforcement Officers in the arrest of four individuals from Alabama night hunting in Georgia.
       Officer Elrod is very well respected by landowners, hunters, fishermen, other law enforcement officers and the court system; which allows him to gain valuable information to arrest serious violators. His professionalism, dedication and commitment to protecting Alabama's wildlife exceeds expectation.
Conservation Organization of the Year
Alabama Resource Conservation & Development Council, Montgomery

       The Alabama Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils began in the 1960's to help communities generate sustainable natural resource-based economies. The Council is composed of community leaders in soil and water conservation, government and community development that identify problems and opportunities to benefit both our natural resources and rural economies.
       Alabama has nine Resource Conservation and Development Councils and a State Association that help make communities a better place to live, learn and thrive. Some of the projects and accomplishments in 2013 by these nine Councils, spanning over multiple counties, include: educating students on Environmental Responsibility; assisting with multiple Water Festivals; enhancing recreational opportunities in the Duck River Watershed area; upgrading environmental education classes; integrating a nature fun fact play space; creating a nature area and outdoor classroom; installing a raised bed garden; and creating a hands-on science environment learning space for special education students. The councils also helped create several community gardens; provided funding for a Gardening with Kids program; assisted with transportation for Forestry Education outdoor tours; established bee keepers while aiding in pollination of crops; facilitated an educational Wildlife Expo; purchased archery equipment to teach teamwork, leadership and sporting skills; and attended Alabama Nature Center Lanark Field Day Programs. The impact of RC&D goes well beyond what can be expressed, they are changing lives of those young and old and making a difference in conservation.
Conservation Communicator of the Year
Alan White, Staplenton

       Alan White, known as the "OutsideMan," is a writer, communicator and educator who has been bringing information and news to anglers, hunters and outdoor enthusiast for close to 20 years. His love of hunting and fishing led him to follow his lifelong dream of launching a quality magazine in 1997, Great Days Outdoors, that addresses the passions of hunters and anglers in the South and promotes wise use and responsible stewardship of Alabama's natural resources.
       In 2005, Alan started a weekly radio show at WNSP in Mobile which later expanded into syndication for other Alabama markets. In 2013, it won the prestigious Best Outdoor Radio Show, an annual award by Lagniappe magazine.  He also writes an outdoor column for Alabama Living, a monthly journal distributed to over 400,000 Electric Co-Op Members.
Alan has always utilized natural resource professionals and conservation organizations to help spread the conservation message through his show and his publications. He uses his media prowess to reach out to those less fortunate with the Alabama Hunger Relief program, where hunters donate harvested deer that is ground and distributed to various food banks. Over 5,000 lbs were donated to six charities in 2012 and 2013. He also works with many fishing clubs and has delivered over 500 lbs of fish to the Salvation Army.
       When Baldwin County acquired Live Oak Landing in 2013, Alan organized the Delta Rendezvous, a family-friendly event that highlights the great outdoors in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta. 
Conservation Educator of the Year
Kay Stone, Auburn
       Kay Stone's enthusiasm for conservation and sharing her knowledge with young people is inspiring. As the Outreach Program Administrator with Auburn University Environmental Institute she works closely with the State Lands Division at the Robert G. Wehle Nature Center in Bullock County, as part of the Black Belt Environmental Science and Arts Program. Through this program, she provides conservation and environmental education opportunities to fourth and fifth grade students in Bullock and surrounding counties. What began with only 40 students, has grown to well over 500 students with four counties participating in conservation, land stewardship and natural resource programs.
       Kay coordinates similar field days for students in Wilcox and Monroe counties at the Auburn University Natural Resources Education Center. Since 2005, her programs have held 143 field days for more than 5,400 students from 13 different public schools within the Black Belt region. Kay's focus provides exposure, appreciation and knowledge of conservation and environmental educational topics.
       Kay also writes grants and obtains funding for these programs. She makes arrangements with agencies to host field day activities and finds knowledgeable professionals to keep the students engaged. Kay encourages the instructors to help children see the beauty in nature and to draw from it what God has given.
Air Conservationist of the Year
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC, Lincoln
       Honda Manufacturing of Alabama builds the Acura MDX, Honda Odyssey, Ridgeline and the Pilot. The management at this facility is extremely conscious of the potential for air pollution and is committed to meeting and exceeding all standards for air pollution controls.
       Honda Manufacturing of Alabama installed new technology to control emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds and absorb carbon. Through the use of a carbon adsorption system with a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer, Volatile Organic Compounds are collected and destroyed in a manner that uses less fuel and reduces air pollutants. Even though more automobiles are being produced at the facility, the installation of the new system has resulted in a 60 metric ton reduction annually in Volatile Organic Compounds. The new carbon absorption system uses close to 20% less energy. The Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer avoids an increase in direct annual emissions of almost one metric ton of nitrogen oxide and over 1000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
       Honda Manufacturing of Alabama will continue to be environmentally conscious by evaluating new and more efficient technologies to help reduce energy usage and exceed air emission standards in our state.
Water Conservationist of the Year
Eve Brantley, Auburn

       Dr. Eve Brantley is Associate Professor and Water Resources Specialist for the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences at Auburn University. Her outreach efforts with Extension agents, local, state, and federal agencies, and responsible citizens have allowed her to conduct more than 100 workshops, training more than 3,000 natural resource professionals. Dr. Brantley's work focuses on best management practices for low impact development, stream restoration using natural channel design, innovative stormwater control and treatment practices, and watershed management with meaningful public participation.
       She has secured 37 grants totaling almost $4 million, which have facilitated the restoration of close to 8,000 linear feet of stream as well as the implementation of 20 storm-water projects.
       Dr. Brantley serves on the Alabama Erosion and Sediment Control Partnership Steering Committee and has been a tremendous asset to its success. She also assists with the Clear Water Alabama Seminar and Field Day program and is an Advisor to the Urban Conservation Committee of the Alabama Association of Conservation Districts. As a result, several local soil and water conservation districts and their clients have focused on stream restoration and low impact development projects, and ultimately, contributed to improving and protecting the waters of Alabama.
Soil Conservationist of the Year
Earl Norton, Auburn

       Earl Norton has spent over 50 years advocating soil and water conservation. He practices what he teaches on his own farm in Chambers County, involving his grandchildren with soil conservation activities.
       Earl is very involved with Soil and Water Conservation Committees on both the State and National level. He established the Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control Program and was certified in 1983. Earl uses this certification, along with Certified Professional Agronomist and Certified Crop Advisor to help improve the beauty, wildlife habitat, soil, and water quality of our State.
       Earl initiated and continues to update the Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook that has become a standard for best management practices in Alabama, and a model for other states to follow. To date, over 900 copies of The Handbook have been distributed, and 35 Sediment and Erosion Control Seminars have been conducted; training approximately 2,600 people. To further enhance this information and include on the ground demonstrations and best practices, he coordinated the Clear Water Alabama Erosion and Sediment Control Field Days across Alabama. Since 2004, over 10,000 copies of the new pocket version of the Field Guide have been distributed and 21 Field Days have been conducted for over 2,000 participants.
       Earl has received numerous awards from AL-SWCS, including a Distinguished Service Award and an Outstanding Service Award for his consistent leadership and service in conservation in Alabama.
Forest Conservationist of the Year
Blake Kelley, Rockford

       For 25 years, Blake Kelly has served as the Alabama Forestry Commission County Forester in Coosa County. He works diligently to provide leadership to landowners wishing to manage their natural resources by coordinating various landowner field tours and classroom presentations. Blake has served as chairman, and the current vice-chairman of the Coosa County Forestry Planning Committee developing it into one of the most productive and active committees in Alabama.
       Blake's aggressive promotion of the TREASURE Forest Program has help to certify more landowners than any other county in the state. Coosa County is the "TREASURE Forest Capital of the World." 
       Understanding the benefits and educating those around him, Blake has led the efforts to maximize prescribed burning in the county. He is a facilitator of some of the best attended outreach forestry tours in the state, and has served as a mentor and coach for the 4H and FFA forestry judging teams. His efforts have resulted in thousands of acres of well managed forest and a wealth of young resource professionals understanding and appreciating proper forest management.
Judicial Conservationist of the Year
Judge Mitchell S. Floyd, Guntersville

        Judge Floyd has been a valuable asset to Marshall County demonstrating his commitment to preserving our wonderful natural resources through judicial action. Judge Floyd has made it very clear to wildlife violators that he is going to enforce the law when it comes to conservation of our natural resources. He demonstrates a proficient interpretation of the law by imposing fundamental concepts of protection of the public, deterring others from committing crime, and reforming the individual offender.
       Judge Floyd takes the time to know and explain the importance of game and fish laws, while taking interest in current violation trends and understanding the adversity that conservation officers face protecting the resources of Alabama. He is fair but firm; providing penalties and sentences that provide retribution and a deterrent to future violators. Four cases alone in his court over the last year have resulted in poachers facing fines of more than $13,000 and 1400 hours of community service. 
Legislative Conservationist of the Year
Congressman Bradley Byrne, Fairhope and Representative Mark Tuggle, Alexander City

       Representative Mark Tuggle and Congressman Bradley Byrne are both outdoorsmen and conservationists, and proudly provide legislative leadership on behalf of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources.
       Representative Tuggle, is an avid hunter and has been a professional forester for more than 20 years. Currently in his first term in the Alabama Legislature, he has been a proponent for good legislation that promotes natural resource stewardship and our outdoor heritage. Representative Tuggle is actively engaged in the Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and recently represented Alabama at the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. His participation in these important endeavors enhances his ability and, in turn, the abilities of the Alabama Legislative Caucus Members to promote and enact sound conservation legislation that benefits our wildlife, forest, fish, water, and soils, as well as the outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy them.
       In the 2014 legislative session, Representative Tuggle was the lead House sponsor of the Sportsperson’s Bill of Rights that successfully passed the Alabama Legislature. Thanks to his efforts, this amendment to the Constitution of Alabama will appear on the November 4, 2014 General Election Ballot and will provide the opportunity for Alabama voters to re-affirm that our citizens have the right, based on wildlife management and wildlife conservation principles, to hunt, fish and utilize the harvests thereof as allowed by law and regulation.
       Congressman Bradley Byrne, a long-time AWF member, is an outdoorsman, conservationist, and has actively supported natural resource conservation in every elected and non-elected positon in which he has served – from the State School Board, to the Alabama Senate, and now the United States Congress.
       Since his election to Congress late last year, Congressman Byrne has successfully obtained an appointment to the House Natural Resources Committee where he has quickly engaged on natural resource matters important to his District and Alabama as a whole. Of special note is his immediate impact on the high-profile red snapper fishery management issue playing out in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Congressman Byrne has been successful in committee passage of key amendments to the Magnusson-Stevens Fisheries Management Act. These amendments focus on alleviating provisions of the act that prevent sound and scientific state-level management of the red snapper fishery and have debilitating effects on recreational fishing and the economic impact it brings to local communities. After passage from Committee,    Congressman Byrne immediately began working with the House leadership in an effort to chart the course of full passage in the House. As he continues to champion the issue, he has maintained close contact and dialogue with state agencies, conservation organizations, and our citizens to keep them abreast of developments and advise us of the best course of action to advocate for passage.
Wildlife Conservationist of the Year
Frank Boyd, Auburn

       Frank Boyd's thirty-five year career has had a profound impact on the wildlife profession on local, state, national and international levels. He has a rare combination of subject matter expertise and hands-on technical field skills, along with common sense that enable him to effectively manage wildlife and human resources.
       Frank has left a living legacy with other wildlife professionals that seek guidance on complex issues involving wildlife interactions. He has earned the unquestionable and unshakeable trust of his fellow wildlife colleagues, non-wildlife professionals and the public. Among his peers around the state and nation, he is commonly referred to as an apex professional. Frank is considered the best of the best and  his technical abilities are beyond compare.
       Frank has led programs and activities designed to manage problems with feral animals that were negatively impacting endangered species such as the watercress dater, Alabama canebrake pitcher plants, brown pelican and sea turtles. His knowledge and research on wildlife and related natural resources has helped deal with threats with human welfare and safety. Frank spearheaded responses related to potential negative impacts related to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and has led congressional initiatives in Mississippi and Alabama supporting integrated wildlife manage.
       Frank is involved in countless committees, programs and projects in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee as well as numerous regional and national programs. Some programs include the Feral Pig Committee, Black Bear Committee, Surveillance Committee for the National Rabies Management Team, Program Review Committee for the NWRC Invasive Species Project, Alabama CWD Task Force and Island Conservation International Advisory Panel. He is also a member and Past President of the Alabama Chapter of The Wildlife Society and Alabama Vector Management Society. Boyd has served on the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Advisory Board, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Urban Wildlife Committee, and Southeastern Section of The Wildlife Society Fur Resources Committee. He has been involved in the Wildlife Federation in Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee. Boyd has served on a variety of other panels and working groups in the Caribbean Islands. He was recently selected by the Southeastern Section of The Wildlife Society to receive the 2014 Distinguished Service Award. It is easy to see why the Alabama Wildlife Federation was proud to have Frank Boyd serve as 2013-2014 President. 
Conservationist of the Year
The Stimpson Family, Mobile

       In the 1930’s, the first Board of Directors listing of the Alabama Wildlife Federation contained the name Mr. Fred T. Stimpson. Upon his passing in 1957, his peers referred to him as follows: “… [he] can rightly be credited with doing as much, if not more, for the cause of wildlife and forest conservation than any man of his time." In many families, the story would end with the passing of such an accomplished patriarch. But not with the Stimpson Family.
       That same passion and conservation commitment has been passed down from one generation to the next. Today it represents four generations and almost 100 years of active conservation service and leadership. Take a look at just a sampling of the conservation arenas in which they have devoted their collective time, talents, and resources to benefit Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources:
  • Fred T. Stimpson Wildlife Sanctuary in Clarke County – established the sanctuary which has provided deer and turkey for re-stocking efforts throughout Alabama and for youth hunting opportunities
  • Governor’s Conservation Advisory Board – three of four generations have served thus far helping to shape and establish conservation laws, regulations, and policy
  • Alabama Wildlife Federation – helped form the organization and have provided sustained leadership and support with 6 different family members and three generations serving on the board since inception, including four Stimpson’s serving as President
  • Alabama Forestry Association – have provided leadership and support with multiple family members and multiple generations serving on the board with two Stimpson’s serving as President
  • Coastal Land Trust – founding member of the board and continued service since inception
  • Forever Wild Land Trust - Board Service
  • Land Stewardship – the Stimpson Family has managed over 50,000 acres of family and trust lands to provide timber, wildlife habitat, and hunting and angling recreation for almost 100 years
       Billy, Ben, and Dut, followed by Fred, Sandy, Ben, Mitch, Richard, Gordon, John, and Scott represent the 2nd and 3rd generation of Stimpsons that have carried forward the family’s conservation legacy – and the 4th generation is just now taking the field.
       The definition of commitment is “a quality or state of being devoted to a cause.” Without question, tonight’s recipients demonstrate that on a grand scale.
A special thanks to all of our sponsors!

Presenting Sponsors

Alabama Power

Table Sponsors
Consolidated Construction Company
Consolidated Pipe & Supply Co., Inc.
First South Farm Credit
Hinton Lumber Products
Josh and Mary Virginia Mandell
Russell Lands, Inc.
Talladega Superspeedway
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