RALEIGH, N.C. (April 23, 2021) – Yesterday, on Earth Day, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission awarded the 2020 Thomas L. Quay Wildlife Diversity Award to Allen Boynton of Troutdale, Virginia. The award recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to wildlife diversity in North Carolina and who are considered leaders in wildlife conservation.
Boynton will join 14 respected leaders in the wildlife conservation field who have been similarly recognized. The first recipient was Thomas Quay himself, a retired professor of zoology at N.C. State University and a self-described full-time volunteer and unpaid environmental activist who passed away in 2012.
Boynton’s nomination was submitted by colleagues who acknowledged Boynton’s outstanding achievements throughout his 40-year career in wildlife conservation, including 18 years in Virginia and 20 years in North Carolina. Boynton retired from the Wildlife Commission in 2018.
“Although most people know Allen for his more recent accomplishments as a no-nonsense administrator, I think Allen’s biggest accomplishments were things like the restoration of the peregrine falcon back to western North Carolina, the initiation of bat monitoring in the state and overseeing elk reintroduction efforts in Virginia,” stated David Allen, eastern region wildlife diversity supervisor and former colleague of Boynton’s at the Commission.
Allen has led by example not only professionally, but in his personal life too. He is an avid birder, photographer and iNaturalist user, logging 2,906 observations and 1,040 species on the platform. He has helped to develop future generations of conservationists and naturalists through his patient demeanor, big-picture thinking, strategic abilities and kind and empathetic mediation.
While visiting the agency’s headquarters in Raleigh to accept the award, Boynton stated he was honored to be recognized for his efforts to conserve the wildlife of this wonderful state. In addition to receiving an official resolution from the Wildlife Commission’s Executive Director Cameron Ingram, Boynton was also gifted an original watercolor painting from Kenneth Bridle, Ph.D., a former Nongame Wildlife Advisory Committee Chairman. The painting featured a collage of animals indicative of Boynton’s studies and career.
For more information on the Thomas L. Quay Wildlife Diversity Award visit the agency’s website.
Missy McGaw, NCWRC