TWS member earns conservation award

By Dana Kobilinsky

Thomas Decker, left, receives the Robert McDowell Award for Conservation Management from President of the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Catherin Sparks. Image courtesy of NEAFWA.

Thomas Decker, a member of The Wildlife Society, chair of The Wildlife Professional’s editorial advisory board, and former TWS Northeast Section representative recently received the Robert McDowell Award for Conservation Management Excellence.

The award, established by the directors of the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (NEAFWA), honors professionals who have contributed to wildlife conservation in the northeastern U.S. and Canadian provinces.

“When NEAFWA conceived the Robert McDowell Award for Conservation Management Excellence, the 2016 recipient of this award is exactly what we had in mind,” said NEAFWA President Catherin Sparks in a press release. “That is, this award is to go to someone who personifies conservation management excellence, and who has made enduring contributions to the integrity of modern fish and wildlife management. For this reason, it is all together fitting that the 2016 Robert McDowell Award for Conservation Management Excellence be awarded to Thomas A. Decker.”

Decker, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Hadley, Massachusetts, has worked in the wildlife profession for 30 years, including work in both federal and state agencies. Some of his past work includes helping lead a national effort to protect the integrity of furbearer management in the presence of international threats in the 1990s. At a recent workshop, Decker helped teach state and federal biologists about best management practices and the importance of sound furbearer management.

In his current position at the Northeast Regional Office of USFWS, Decker guides state and wildlife agencies in grant development for projects funded under the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program.

Dana KobilinskyDana Kobilinsky is a science writer at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at dkobilinsky@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article. You can follow her on Twitter at @DanaKobi.

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