Don Barnes has been selected to win the 2023 Jim McDonough Award for years of service and participation in various levels of The Wildlife Society.
Barnes first became a member of TWS in 1974, and a member of the Canadian Section since 2007. He became president of the Ontario Chapter in 2021, a year when he also became a TWS Fellow.
In his career, he worked for decades at Lakeland University in Thunder Bay, Ontario in their natural resources faculty. During his time there, he worked with students, including in a Native Access Program that collaborated with First Nations students.
“Don Barnes has met all of the criteria as a candidate for receiving the Jim McDonough Award,” wrote Merlin Shoesmith, a Certified Wildlife Biologist and the 2014 recipient of the award, in his nomination letter. “He has been involved in many roles and activities at the Section and Chapter level in TWS. Most apparent in all of this is his strong support and push for an approach that works for professional certification of wildlifers in Canada.”
During his time at Lakeland, Barnes was also key in the establishment of the university’s student TWS chapter—he still serves as their TWS liaison.
Now retired, Barnes remains an active trapper—he serves as the current director of the Northwestern Ontario Fur Trappers Association and a member of various other hunting and trapping organizations.
The award is an annual recognition created in honor of Jim McDonough, who conducted years of research on cottontail rabbits and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Massachusetts. The award winners have to be members of TWS—both the national organization and the local chapter where they live—as well as Certified Wildlife Biologists. Award winners are recognized for involvement in the Society as well as being a “true professional.”