Kayaker named Conservationist Of the Year;
Ducks Unlimited earns Conservation Organization award
MANHATTAN -- The Kansas Wildlife Federation (KWF) has announced the winners of the 2006 Conservation Awards Program (CAP) honors. Eleven Kansans and one organization will be honored for their work on conservation of the state’s natural resources at the KWF annual meeting and awards banquet Feb. 9-10 in the Holiday Inn at the Campus in Manhattan.

T. J. Hittle, a leader in the Kansas Canoe and Kayak Association (KCKA), will be recipient of the Conservationist of the Year honor. Hittle is an outspoken advocate for the rivers of Kansas and is an avid canoer and kayaker. He teaches classes about canoeing and kayaking, spreading his enthusiasm and appreciation for the sport and water resources through education. He has organized floats for many years, promoting KCKA and stream resources.

Other award winners include the following: Conservation Organization, Ducks Unlimited; Conservation Educator, Linda Stewart, Junction City; Wildlife Conservationist, Charlie Cope, Wichita; Land and Soil Conservationist, Max Good, Parsons; Conservation Communicator, Joyce Lent, Wichita; Forest Conservationist, Jim Grinter, Lawrence; Water Conservationist, Francis Bennett, Williamsburg; Stream Monitor, Philip G. Balch, Topeka; Outdoor Skills Instructor, Melinda Harder, Andover; and Farmer/Rancher Wildlife Conservationist, Marvin and Jack Dohrman, Bushton.

The KWF meeting will begin with registration at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9 followed by a hunters and anglers Farm Bill discussion and review, as well as a resolution on pending legislation. On Saturday, registration will begin again at 8:00 a.m. followed by meetings and lunch throughout the day. A social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by the CAP awards banquet at 7 p.m.

Registration for the meeting is $25. Registration for the CAP banquet is $35. The public is invited to celebrate the achievements of these conservationists and participate in the meetings. For more information, phone Steve Sorenson at 316-214-3001.