Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever presented four respected wildlife professionals with Conservation Service Awards during the 87th North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference
this week in Spokane, Washington. The award winners were selected for their distinguishing contributions to wildlife habitat conservation efforts nationwide, including landscape-level habitat improvements through cooperative partnerships and direct mission delivery of critical programs for upland birds, pollinators, and other wildlife.
“Over the past two years, it’s important to recognize that even though many parts of the American lifestyle were delayed or upended, wildlife habitat conservation efforts moved forward thanks to the diligence of our nation’s wildlife professionals,” said Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever. “Today, we’re celebrating four conservation champions who have made meaningful contributions to private and public lands throughout the nation when outdoorsmen and women needed them most.”
Conservation Service Award Recipients
Alicia Hardin – Wildlife Division Administrator, Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
As the current Wildlife Division Administrator for Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, Alicia Hardin has served the interests of wildlife and hunters for more than 22 years in the Cornhusker State. Hardin serves various boards and councils throughout the Great Plains including the Central Flyway Council Board, the Playa Lakes Joint Venture Board, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative Board, and serves as chair of the Migratory Shore and Upland Game Bird working group with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Hardin earned her BS and MS in Wildlife from the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
Hardin has served as a critical link to the work accomplished by Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever in Nebraska. Her dedication to ensuring prescribed fire as a management tool for prairies throughout Nebraska has guided The Habitat Organization to become one of the leading conservation groups in the nation for prescribed fire use.
Lisa Potter – Private Lands Program Supervisor, Missouri Department of Conservation
Lisa Potter serves as the Private Land Programs Supervisor and Farm Bill Coordinator for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Since 2011, Potter has worked in collaboration with many partners across the nation to create and administer conservation programs to assist landowners in meeting their land-use objectives for wildlife. She also serves as the Department liaison with USDA to aid in the development of wildlife and habitat technical standards and policies that support implementation of fish, forest, and grassland conservation on working lands. Prior to working for MDC, Potter traveled the country as a field biologist responsible for monitoring various upland wildlife species, including the northern bobwhite. In 2020, she was elected to proudly serve as the first Chairwoman of the National Bobwhite Technical Committee.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever continue to recognize the exemplary work Potter has helped accomplish for private lands conservation efforts in Missouri. In a state that is nearly 90 percent privately owned, landowners remain a critical factor for maintaining world-class wildlife populations. The conservation operations staff of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever work closely with MDC to ensure that private landowners have access and technical support for conservation programs, and Potter has remained a key spokesperson for those efforts.
Dan Prenzlow – Director, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Dan Prenzlow is the current Director for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. After receiving his BS in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University in 1985, Prenzlow followed in the footsteps of his father and joined joined the Division of Wildlife in 1986 as a district wildlife manager, responsible for patrolling the Castle Rock region. He was then promoted to area wildlife manager in 1992 based in Meeker, where he served until 2005 when he became southeast regional manager based in Colorado Springs. Prenzlow was appointed Director in 2019 and has been serving in that role ever since.
Director Prenzlow has been a true partner for Pheasants Forever during his time with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. In addition to being a diehard upland hunter, he and his staff worked closely with Pheasants Forever to improve habitat for lesser prairie chickens, pheasants, bobwhite, and scaled quail. From those experiences, Prenzlow has been a champion for continued support of Pheasants Forever’s technical assistance partnership, as well as the Corners for Conservation Program which creates approximately 800 new acres of high-quality nesting and pollinator habitat each year
Kendra Wecker – Division of Wildlife Chief, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
As Chief of the Division of Wildlife, Kendra Wecker oversees the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) efforts to manage and conserve fish and wildlife populations on behalf of all Ohioans. Wecker has advised numerous ODNR Division of Wildlife chiefs and was instrumental in proposing legislation for the popular cardinal and bald eagle license plates. Additionally, she influenced the creation of the Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership as well as the popular Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference. Kendra holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from The Ohio State University and has worked for ODNR since 1992. Her previous positions include Wildlife Diversity Coordinator and Information and Education Executive Administrator.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever has had a strong partnership with the Ohio Division of Wildlife for many years, but our collaborative efforts have increased under Wecker’s leadership. The Division of Wildlife has expanded their support of the conservation operations team, enabling Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever to increase its biologist support for landowners in recent years. ODNR’s Division of Wildlife was most recently the lead partner for the 415-acre Mallett property acquisition that is now delivering incredible wildlife resources and access in Ohio.
About Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever
, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever
, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community represents over 400,000 members, supporters and partners, all dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent more than $1 billion on 567,500 habitat projects benefiting 22 million acres.
From left to right, Sarah Parker Pauley (on behalf of Lisa Potter), Dan Prenzlow, Kendra Wecker, Tim McCoy (on behalf of Alicia Hardin), and Howard Vincent pose for a picture after the awards ceremony.