2019 TWS Council election results

The results from the 2019 TWS Council elections are in. TWS members have elected Gordon Batcheller as the next vice president of TWS. Pat Lederle will join Council as the North Central Section representative. Grant Hilderbrand was elected as the Northwest Section representative and Kelley Stewart will be the Western Section representative.

Members also approved changes to the bylaws regarding frequency and notice of Council meetings. According to the new language, the first of two regular annual Council meetings will be held shortly before the North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference, or at such time and place as the Council may select. The second shall be shortly before the Annual TWS meeting, or at such time and place as the Council may select.

TWS extends its thanks to all of the candidates who ran for office, including Shawn Riley, Shawn Cleveland, Julie Vance and John J. Moriarty.

The election winners will begin their term during the Members Meeting at the 26th Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada.

Meet your new Council members!

Gordon Batcheller, CWB

Vice President

The wildlife profession best represents my interests and passions; TWS addresses the full spectrum of our complex profession. I am inspired by pioneering conservationists who took steps over 100 years ago to conserve wildlife. They had this in common — a fundamental passion for all things wild.

As a prospective TWS elected leader, I believe we should: Be at the forefront of wildlife conservation at all levels (local, state, national, international); Be the champion of science-based management, through well-designed and timely research; Help people experience the happiness that comes from wildlife; Ensure highly trained professionals, meeting the highest standards of academic and professional excellence, are recruited into the workforce; Advocate for wildlife as a public trust resource; Be a strong voice for the legitimate, democratic, and lawful use of wildlife; Uphold our traditions regarding the use of wildlife while recognizing that modern reforms are needed to meet contemporary needs; Ensure that the interests of wildlife professionals are voiced and heard at all levels. The Wildlife Society is a strong organization because of passionate and dedicated professionals who value working hard.

The task of your national officers is to help you conserve and manage wildlife through personal initiative, along with the work of the Chapters, Sections and Working Groups. I am grateful for the thousands of dedicated wildlife biologists — the heart and soul of TWS.

Pat Lederle, CWB

North Central Section

I’ve been a member of TWS since my professional career started many years ago, and TWS has been, and continues to be, a great organization. The Society provides excellent opportunities for networking, information sharing and a sense of pride in being involved with something much bigger than oneself.

Engagement is the key to success for your Section Representative; I will listen to your thoughts and concerns from Chapters and individuals, and make sure those views and creative ideas are voiced at Council meetings. In the words of Past President Gary Potts, “we are The Wildlife Society” and our strength in numbers and the diversity of our ideas make a difference in wildlife conservation. I’m eager to serve as a conduit for the creativity and innovation that originates in the Section. Another critical role of the Section Representative is to provide feedback to the Section, and I will ensure Council proceedings are documented so Section members know what issues were discussed, what decisions were made, and the rationale for those decisions.

I am fortunate to be retiring from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources at the end of May, and my goal is to remain engaged in wildlife conservation. There would be no greater honor then to represent you on the TWS Council.

Grant Hilderbrand, CWB

Northwest Section

Since 1993, I have lived, worked and recreated in the northwest from the Columbia River drainage to north of the Arctic Circle. Throughout my career, I have benefited from my membership with TWS because it serves as a great forum for mentorship, sharing of ideas, collectively addressing important issues, and fostering new collaborations. Thus, TWS has an important voice as it reflects the passion of its members toward our shared mission of sustaining wildlife population and habitats through science-based management and conservation.

The northwest region faces a variety of issues going forward such as impacts from and mitigation of the effects of climate change, emerging and expanding disease threats, increased land and resource use, an expanding urban-wildland interface, and federal and state management of protected and recovering species. While we often view these topics through the lens of wildlife conservation and management, they are indicative of the larger societal and global challenges that lie ahead. In this regard, TWS has both an opportunity and obligation to lead.

While the day-to-day job of wildlife professionals has changed through time and new challenges have emerged since TWS was founded in 1937; the motivation, character and capability of our membership has not. Collectively, TWS has a local, regional, national and international impact, and I know we can continue to serve society as a reliable, objective and inspired advocate for the lands and wildlife we cherish. 

Kelley Stewart

Western Section

A very important aspect of what I do as a professor and a biologist is service to the wildlife profession. I have been active in The Wildlife Society at the national, Section, and Chapter levels for many years. I am currently the Nevada Chapter Representative to the Western Section, and I’m on the Publications Award Committee for TWS.

I think it is important to bring issues, such as transparency, that are important to the Western Section to attention of TWS council as well as bringing information that is important to the council to the attention of the Section and Chapters. An important role of The Wildlife Society is bringing people together to coordinate the mission of The Wildlife Society. These are challenging times for wildlife conservation and threats to wildlife are coming from multiple directions. How scientific knowledge informs policy, and how our voices as scientists and educators informs future policy is extremely important in these times of continuing threats to undermine conservation of wildlife populations. I will bring my perspective and experience in representing the values and topics of importance to the Western Section and its Chapters to the TWS Council to foster communication and support of wildlife conservation.

Header Image: A south Lake Tahoe sunrise. ©Christian Arballo