NC Wildlife Federation honors 19 statewide with Conservation Award

Honorees for 2022 include agency professionals, elected officials, volunteers and organizations committed to North Carolina’s wildlife, habitat and natural resources.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina Wildlife Federation has announced the winners of its 58th Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards.

Honorees for 2022 include agency professionals, elected officials, volunteers and organizations committed to North Carolina’s wildlife, habitat and natural resources.

N.C. Wildlife Federation will honor the 19 award recipients, including the to-be-announced wildlife enforcement and marine patrol officers of the year, at a banquet on Saturday, Sept. 10th in Cary. 

“For nearly 60 years, the awards program has been bringing together conservationists from across the state working to protect wildlife, air, water and land. This year’s conservation heroes are land stewardship champions, water advocates and leaders in preserving unique ecosystems,” said T. Edward Nickens, awards committee chair. 

 “The annual awards are a chance to highlight positive wildlife conservation efforts around the state while inspiring others to become more active in protecting North Carolina’s natural resources for future generations.”

2022 Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award Recipients:

Conservationist of the Year – Dr. James F. Parnell, professor emeritus, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Biological Sciences, Wilmington, NC

Wildlife Conservationist of the Year – Jeff Hunter, senior program manager, National Parks Conservation Association, Southeast Regional Office, Burnsville, NC

Sportsman of the Year – Wes Seegars, commissioner, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Goldsboro, NC

Land Conservationist of the Year – Eric Hiegl, director of land protection & stewardship, Blue Ridge Conservancy, Boone, NC

Marine Conservationist of the Year – Tom Roller, founder, owner and operator, Waterdog Guide Service, Beaufort, NC

Forest Conservationist of the Year – Alton Perry, director of the sustainable forestry and land retention program, Roanoke Electric Cooperative, Aulander, NC

Environmental Educator of the Year – Lauren Daniel, water education program manager, N.C. Division of Water Resources, Swansboro, NC

Young Conservationist of the Year – Lauren Zuravel, Terry Sanford High School, Fayetteville, NC

Conservation Organization of the Year – North Carolina Urban Forest Council, Raleigh, NC

Legislator of the Year — Senator Jim Perry, North Carolina General Assembly, Kinston, NC

Business Conservationist of the Year – Maxie B’s Bakery, Robin Davis, founder and CEO, Greensboro, NC

Natural Resources Scientist of the Year — Todd Ewing, program coordinator, Southeast Aquatic Research Partnership, former assistant chief, Inland Fisheries Division, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Fuquay-Varina, NC

Wildlife Volunteers of the Year – Herb and Pat Amyx, Wake Forest, NC

Public Lands Conservationist of the Year – Gretchen Smith, president, Friends of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area, Chapel Hill, NC

NCWF Chapter of the Year – Island Wildlife Chapter, Wilmington, NC

NCWF Affiliate of the Year – Mainspring Conservation Trust, Franklin, NC

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