Randall C. Wilson Wins Prestigious Wildlife Conservation Award
2/5/2014 3:58 PM
This is reprinted from a news release dated July 10, 2008.
RALEIGH, N.C. (July 10, 2008) – As a wildlife biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, he helped bolster populations of game animals across the state, from raccoons, to wild turkeys to waterfowl. But it wasn’t until he agreed to take on a fledgling program dedicated to the conservation of nongame wildlife — animals without an open season — that Randall C. Wilson found his true calling.
The dedication and tenacity that he put in to growing the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program from a staff of four in 1988 to more than 25 biologists 20 years later, and the conservation achievements that resulted, have earned Wilson the Commission’s most prestigious honor, the Thomas L. Quay Wildlife Diversity Award.
Wilson was presented with the award and a plaque at the agency’s business meeting on July 9 by Commissioner Chuck Bennett,chairman of the Habitat, Nongame and Endangered Species Committee.
“Randy’s leadership in the formative years of the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program was critical to the development of our current, nationally acclaimed program,” Bennett said.
In his 14 years as a Section Manager for the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife program, now called the Wildlife Diversity Program, Wilson secured more than $1 million in grants to fund the program’s many projects, created partnerships with other agencies to share critical wildlife inventory data, developed the legislative proposal for North Carolina Wildlife Conservation license plates to generate additional funding, and facilitated a multi-agency partnership to publish the “North Carolina Wildlife Viewing Guide.”
He was instrumental in getting the conservation funding movement “Teaming with Wildlife” (www.teaming.com) going in the 1990s. His efforts have led to significant advances in funding and achievements for comprehensive wildlife conservation in North Carolina and across the country.
“In the truest sense of the term,Randy Wilson was a wildlife conservationist, with a broad vision that encompassed not only game animals but nongame animals as well,” said Chris McGrath, the current Wildlife Diversity Program Coordinator in Wildlife Management and the person who nominated Wilson for the award. “To that end, he sought to build the best nongame program of any state in the nation, at a time when funds for nongame work were limited or non-existent.”
He inspired the nongame program staff to build relationships, work cooperatively, capitalize upon funding opportunities and broaden the scope of ‘traditional’ wildlife agencies to include both nongame and game animals.”
Wilson, a Knightdale resident,retired from the Commission in 2004 after 30 years of service.
As the third winner of the Thomas L. Quay Award, Wilson joins respected leaders in the wildlife conservation field. The first recipient was Dr. Quay himself, a retired professor of zoology at N.C. State University and self-described “full-time volunteer and unpaid environmental activist.”
Dr. James Parnell, professor emeritus of biological sciences at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, received the award in 2007in recognition of his pioneering research on colonial nesting waterbirds and shorebirds on dredge-material islands.
For more information on the agency’s Wildlife Diversity Program, please visit the Commission’s Web site, and click on the link “Give to Wildlife.”