O.F.A.H. Awards to Dedicated Conservationists
MISSISSAUGA, ON– Some of the province’s most dedicated conservation leaders were honored at the 84th Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) Annual Fish and Wildlife Conference, held in Mississauga last week. The event ran from March 15 to 17 and attracted over 700 outdoors enthusiasts. A panel of judges had the difficult task of selecting a winner from among the many worthy nominees in each category.
The Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association was awarded the Mary Pickford Award, the OFAH’s top club honor for the ninth time in their history and for the second year in a row. One judge commented, “This club has had a tremendous influence on our hunting and fishing heritage and conservation right across the board.” The Kingston Fish and Game Club and the Gosfield North Sportsman Association each received honorable mention for their efforts in 2011.
Dr. Robert Bailey won the Rick Morgan Professional Conservation Award. Dr. Bailey owns Ecometrica, is vice president of Delta Waterfowl, is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Canada, and is currently the waterfowl editor with Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine. He has been active in Canada’s Outdoor Network and helped initiate the Alternate Land Use Services Program (ALUS) on farms to support habitat ad conservation compensation.
Bob Taylor of Kingston was the 2011 recipient of the Ontario Hunting Heritage Award. Bob has been a hunter education instructor for 42 years, and has taught thousands of students to safely enjoy their hunting heritage, has trained fellow instructors and provided peer review of recent versions of the official student manual.
Anne and Dennis Armstrong of the Grenville Fish and Game Club were voted the 2011 winners of the Larry Wallace Memorial Volunteer Award for their significant contributions to youth conservation education. Over the past decade, the couple has been deeply involved in youth outreach with the club, introducing youth to the outdoors who would otherwise not have the opportunity.
Ray Sriubiskis accepted the Larry Wallace Memorial Professional Award on behalf of Camp Romuva. Located in Huntsville, the camp is owned by the Lithuanian Scouting Community of the Greater Toronto Area, and has generously been made available to the OFAH Get Outdoors Summer Leadership Camp for the past six years. The camp provides the ideal location for the eager OFAH campers who descend upon it every July.
Bruce McLean of Thunder Bay was awarded the Gord Blake Memorial Conservation Award, which is given annually to the individual who has done outstanding conservation work in a volunteer capacity. For eight years Bruce has tirelessly run the fish hatchery as the volunteer manager for the Thunder Bay Salmon Association.
In addition to award presentations, the conference included a series of guest presenters, including keynote speaker, Associate Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino, MNR Deputy Minister David O’Toole and provincial Conservative Leader Tim Hudak. Experts updated attendees on the new fish and game licensing system, enforcement, moose management, the Algonquin Land Claim and aquaculture. Video coverage of some of the presentations can be viewed at www.ofah.org/conference.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 675 member clubs, the OFAH is the province’s largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization, and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org or follow the OFAH on Facebook and Twitter.