Dave Hilley named Conservationist Of the Year;
Tuttle Creek Lake Association earns Conservation Organization award

MANHATTAN -- The Kansas Wildlife Federation (KWF) has announced the winners of the 2008 Conservation Awards Program (CAP) honors. Eleven Kansans and two organizations will be honored for their work on conservation of the state’s natural resources at the KWF annual meeting and awards banquet March 7 at the Clarion Hotel, 530 Richards Drive in Manhattan.

Dave Hilley, Kingman, will be recipient of the Conservationist of the Year honor. Hilley recently retired after 29 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 18 at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) near Hutchinson. At Quivira, Hilley helped implement many projects, including a large work and storage shed, a visitor’s center, an environmental education classroom, two disability-accessible nature trails, an accessible fishing pier, an accessible youth fishing pond, two accessible photo blinds, an accessible waterfowl hunting blind, an accessible observation tower, a public spotting scope, a refuge auto tour, and a friends group to help organize special events. Hilley also spearheaded development of a voluntary water conservation agreement with the refuge and area landowners to avoid court disputes over water rights along Rattlesnake Creek.

Other award winners include the following: Conservation Organization, Tuttle Creek Lake Association, Manhattan; Conservation Educator, Angela Anderson, Allen; Wildlife Conservationist, Lloyd Fox, Vassar; Land and Soil Conservationist, Bill Sproul, Sedan; Conservation Communicator, Pete Janzen, Wichita; Forest Conservationist, Greg Ellis, Baldwin City; Water Conservationist, Stacie Minson, Wakeeney; Stream Monitor, Big Creek Middle Smoky Hill River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies, Hays; Outdoor Skills Instructor, Jim Kellenberger, Jetmore; Farmer/Rancher Wildlife Conservationist, John Anderson, Paola; Youth Conservationist, Rachel Roth, Wichita; and Conservation Legislator, John Grange, El Dorado.

The KWF meeting will run March 6 and 7. The theme of the afternoon program on Saturday will be a forum on No Child Left Inside. Experts from various fields will present information on the impact of modern lifestyles on children's habits in Kansas and what can be done to get them outside to benefit their health and schoolwork.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the special rate of $82 per night and will be held until February 13. Call the Clarion Hotel at 785-539-5311 to make reservations. Be sure to tell them that you are with the Kansas Wildlife Federation to receive the special room rate.

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.