On Nov. 12, the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Commission presented its Award of Excellence to Pete Butchko, CWB® and Michigan TWS chapter member. The award was given in recognition of the partnership between the Bureau of Aeronautics and the Wildlife Services program in Michigan, which Butchko led for 16 years before his recent retirement.
“As someone who loves wildlife, Pete may have focused on airport hazard work because he knew that bird-aircraft strikes almost always injure wildlife, although planes usually sustain minimal damage,” said John McConnell, CWB® and Butchko’s supervisor as a WS regional assistant director. “Protecting wildlife is the foundation of his work.”
In accepting the award Butchko credited being in the right place at the right time with the right staff, with airport hazard management expanding throughout the country since 2000. The USDA wildlife damage management program in Michigan assists approximately 19 civilian and military airports in the state by providing technical advice, information on management alternatives, training, and direct control of wildlife. Since 2001, WS has conducted wildlife hazard assessments at 16 Michigan airports.
Wildlife Services is a Strategic Partner of TWS.