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August 08, 2013   Email to Friend 

PUCKETT NAMED SOIL CONSERVATIONIST OF THE YEAR
Julie B. Yates, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
(334) 887-4581
August 08, 2013

From left are Charles Welden, III, AWF President; Horace Horn with PowerSouth Energy; Dr. William Puckett; Gov. Robert Bentley and Matt Bowden with Alabama Power Company.

Dr. William Puckett of Auburn was recently awarded the Soil Conservationist of the Year Award at the 2013 Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF) Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards banquet. 

The banquet was held Aug. 2 at The Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill in Prattville. Gov. Robert Bentley provided opening remarks and assisted with presentation of the awards.

The AWF Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards (GCAA) are the most respected conservation honors in the state of Alabama.  Over the past 30 years, the Alabama Wildlife Federation has presented these awards to individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to the conservation of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources. 

Puckett serves as the State Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Alabama. In this role, he has become known for his proactive approach, can-do attitude, and building effective partnerships with a host of organizations and agencies committed to soil and water conservation and the wise stewardship of Alabama's natural resources.

Under Puckett’s leadership, he has fostered effective implementation of Farm Bill programs that have resulted in millions of dollars invested in partnership with Alabama landowners to protect our soil resources through conservation tillage and the use of cover crops.  At the same time, these programs have also increased crop productivity, improved water quality, and established beneficial forest and wildlife habitats.

During the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Puckett spearheaded development of the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative and worked with the Alabama Wildlife Federation, local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and coastal Alabama landowners to develop alternative, oil-free habitats for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl.  As a result, almost 1,000 acres of new migratory shorebird and waterfowl habitat were created,
providing the habitat necessary to support feeding areas for 50,000 migratory shorebirds and approximately 900,000 duck use days.

Puckett is a leader and is passionate about the soil and related natural resources of our state.  He has also led Alabama in the National Water Quality Initiative, the Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative, and a host of other highly beneficial conservation efforts. The GCAA was created to promote leadership by example and in turn increase conservation of the natural resources in the state of Alabama including its wildlife, forests, soils, water and air.  The program is designed to bring about a greater knowledge and awareness of conservation practices and projects and to give proper recognition to those persons and organizations that make outstanding contributions to the natural resource welfare of their community and state. 

The Alabama Wildlife Federation, established by sportsmen in 1935, is the state’s oldest and largest citizens’ conservation organization.  The mission of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, a 501(c) 3 non-profit group supported by membership dues and donations, is to promote conservation and wise use of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources as a basis for economic and social prosperity.  To learn more about AWF, including membership details, programs and projects, contact Alabama Wildlife Federation at 1-800-822-WILD or visit www.alabamawildlife.org.



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