April 2023 Edition | Volume 77, Issue 4
Published since 1946
Steve Williams Presented with Grinnell Award During 88th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference
The George Bird Grinnell Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Natural Resource Conservation was awarded to outgoing Wildlife Management Institute President Steve Williams at last month’s 88th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
This award, established in honor of the widely acknowledged “Father of American Conservation” – George Bird Grinnell – is natural resource management’s highest individual honor and was presented by the Wildlife Management Institute’s Board Member Jimmy Bullock on behalf of the entire WMI Board of Directors. “Steve Williams personifies the profession of wildlife management,” noted Bullock during his remarks. “He is a colleague, mentor, and friend to almost everyone in this room.”
After earning a B.S. in Environmental Resource Science, an M.S. in Biology, and a Ph.D in Forest Resources, Williams went on to serve as Deer Project Leader and Assistant Director of Wildlife at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Deputy Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Cabinet Secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and finally President of the Wildlife Management Institute. He will continue to serve WMI as a member of its Board of Directors.
“Steve has been a force of fish and wildlife conservation constancy, a voice of respected leadership, grounded in a career across the state, federal, and non-profit conservation estates, unlike any other conservation professional in the United States” said Ron Regan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies when asked to comment on Williams’ unparalleled career. “His steadfast dedication to science in decision-making, coupled with due consideration of the relevancy of conservation institutions, has produced a legacy of work that will stand the test of time.”
According to Sara Parker Pauley, Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation, Williams is “an icon in the world of fish and wildlife conservation. His amazing career spanned decades, both in governmental and NGO spheres. He is a steadfast voice of clarity, reason, and vision in conservation. His legacy of stewarding our natural resources will live on long after he trades in meetings for marshes and task forces for time with grandkids. He will be greatly missed.”
“The Grinnell Award recognizes persons who have selflessly and very effectively dedicated their careers to conservation, without thought of personal gain or glory; individuals of foresight, determination, and accomplishment,” praised Bullock. “The WMI Board of Directors is pleased and proud to present the 2023 Award to a man who personifies those traits according to the highest traditions of North America’s conservation profession.”