The Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) recognizes conservationists throughout Missouri for their outstanding achievement and efforts for conservation throughout the year.
Conserving our air, water, soil and wildlife resources is an ongoing challenge that requires a continuing commitment by all citizens. Many people have made outstanding personal efforts toward some aspect of conservation, either individually or as part of an organization. Through these awards CFM seeks to give them the recognition they deserve, with the highest honor being the Conservationist of the Year award.
At the 2015 Annual Convention, we awarded the 2014 Conservation Achievement Awards. We recognized 13 amazing individuals, businesses and organizations for their dedication to preserving our state’s vast and precious natural resources.
Outstanding Lifetime Achievement: Dick Wood, Saint Louis
Dick is a lifetime member and continues to serve and support CFM with passion as a past president and current board member. He currently chairs CFM’s archery natural resources committee. He is a man of integrity, compassion and Christian values. He has worked long and hard through the years to support and protect wild things and wild places.
Conservation Communicator of the Year: Kenneth Kieser, Olathe
Kenneth L. Kieser is a veteran freelance outdoor writer of 39 years with several thousand bylines in newspapers and magazines. His editorials helped block SB 56 and HB 1326 in redefining the term livestock in Missouri statutes to include high-fence or captive deer and put them into the same classification as cattle and other domesticated animals.
Conservation Educator of the Year: Robert Snyder, Point Lookout
Dr. Robert Snyder has a long history of conservation and wildlife management background. He is not only knowledgeable about everything conservation, but conservation is his passion. It is easy to see that his heart is set on making this world a better place by means of wildlife management and conserving our natural resources.
Forest Conservationist of the Year: Nate Goodrich, Columbia
Nate Goodrich began his career 13 years ago as a Forester for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NCRS) in Northeast Missouri. Through his dedication and hard work, Nate was not only able to improve thousands of acres of forest land, but also developed lasting partnerships with many producers. He displays a true passion for conservation and has dedicated his career to improving fish, forest and wildlife resources in Missouri.
Conservation Organization of the Year: Springfield Plateau Chapter of the Master Naturalist, Springfield
The Springfield Plateau Chapter of Master Naturalists serves as an independent volunteer organization working in three areas of natural resources: citizen science, stewardship and education. The organization has demonstrated commitment to the natural resources and people of southwest Missouri in a number of ways. In 2014, they volunteered over 6,500 hours and cumulatively since the inception of the chapter, 38,300 hours.
Professional Conservationist of the Year: Tom Draper, Jefferson City
Tom Draper’s efforts have improved the quality of Missouri’s forest resources, informed and engaged Missouri citizens, improved the regulations process and set conservation of all of Missouri’s natural resources on a path of success for future generations. Tom is currently the Deputy Director at the Missouri Department of Conservation. He serves as a model and a mentor for many inside and outside the agency, and has exemplified what it means to be a conservation professional.
Water Conservationist of the Year: Steve Herrington, Saint Louis
Dr. Steven Herrington is The Nature Conservancy’s first director of freshwater conservation in Missouri. Steve is making waves in freshwater conservation through his dynamic leadership style and ability to bring diverse groups together to complete large-scale projects. Steven is lending his expertise to a variety of freshwater projects across the region and beyond. He has a genuine passion for and commitment to keeping Missouri’s waters healthy for generations to come.
Wildlife Conservationist of the Year: CFM Ad Hoc CWD Committee, Statewide
The Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) ad hoc committee is made up of a wide spectrum of conservationists who remain dedicated to protecting Missouri’s deer herd and preserving the integrity of the Missouri Department of Conservation. The one vote margin of a win in denying SB 56 becoming law was voluminous for Missouri’s deer herd. The fight to keep fenced cervids being classifies as livestock ranks in the top accomplishments in CFM’s history.
Youth Conservationist of the Year: Ethan Green, Walnut Shade
Ethan Green has donated far more than his time. He has donated his leadership, enthusiasm and his passion for conservation. He volunteers for the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery in Branson, and is always eager to help and provide learning situations. The fact that Ethan was a high school student and able to accomplish these conservation milestones is truly noteworthy. His passion and enthusiasm for conservation is second to none
Conservation Legislator of the Year: Representative Keith Frederick, Rolla
Rep. Keith J. Frederick represents parts of Pulaski and Phelps County (District 121) in the Missouri House of Representatives. He is an avid outdoorsman, managing his property on the Niangua River for wildlife. He supported the Department of Conservation during the captive cervid debate. He understands the threats of wildlife diseases such as chronic wasting disease.
Conservation Legislator of the Year: Senator Wayne Wallingford, Cape Girardeau
Sen. Wayne Wallingford represents Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, Scott and Wayne Counties (District 27) in the Missouri Senate. He believes Missouri has the best conservation system in the country. He fought to exempt conservation from last year’s JCAR fight. He supported the Department of Conservation on the captive cervid legislation.
Corporate Conservationist of the Year: Shelter Insurance, Columbia
Shelter Insurance is a dynamic group of companies focused on providing financially secure insurance protection and services. They are a proud sponsor of the Share the Harvest program, and look forward to working with CFM in the future to support conservation efforts in Missouri. Shelter Insurance is a platinum level CFM Business Alliance member.
Conservationist of the Year: John Karel, Sainte Genevieve
John Karel is one of the most accomplished conservationists and parks professionals to serve in Missouri. John has had a life-long career in state and local parks, conservation, historic preservation and wilderness that enabled him to influence the quality and character of so many natural resources that Missourians enjoy today. John has held many high level management positions, served on the board of several historic preservation groups, was a founder of the Missouri Wilderness Coalition, authored dozens of articles on resource issues and has been recognized for his professional contributions by many organizations over the years.
If you know someone who has done something special to aid conservation in Missouri, we invite you to nominate them for a Conservation Achievement Award. The nomination form can be found on our website by clicking here.