WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced the reappointment of four individuals to the twelve-member Sporting Conservation Council. The council, a federal advisory committee for the sporting and conservation community, is in Washington, D.C. for a two-day meeting with officials from the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture.
“I am happy to announce the re-appointment of Rob Keck, Susan Recce, Christine Thomas and John Tomke,” Kempthorne said. “I have appreciated their advice and input over the last two years and I look forward to continuing to work with them as we strive to improve and enhance our successful, long-term conservation practices.”
The Sporting Conservation Council, established in 2006, was created as an outlet to provide the Secretary of the Interior with important input in the areas of habitat restoration and protection; impacts of energy development on wildlife resources; forest and rangeland health; hunting access to federal lands; and other issues in which the council members can provide a valuable perspective to resource managers and senior leaders throughout the Department.
Members of the council are appointed by the Secretary to serve two-year terms without compensation. Reappointed members include:
- Rob Keck, chief executive officer, National Wild Turkey Federation, representing game bird hunting organizations. Mr. Keck is a dedicated hunter, angler, and trapper and a deeply committed conservationist. He has been the chief executive officer of the National Wild Turkey Federation since 1981 and has helped the NWTF become one of the most dynamic and fastest growing single species conservation organizations in North America.
- Susan Recce, director, Conservation, Wildlife and Natural Resources, National Rife Association, representing wildlife conservation organizations. Ms. Recce has thirty-five years of experience on natural resource issues through her experience with Congress, the executive branch, and a private association largely focused on hunting and wildlife conservation. Ms. Recce was responsible for the development and advocacy of NRA's position on legislation and regulations related to land and wildlife resource management issues affecting hunting and the shooting sports.
- Christine Thomas, dean and professor of resource management, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources, representing the hunting community. In addition to her role as a university educator, Ms. Thomas has developed “Becoming an Outdoors-Woman,” a program that teaches women outdoor skills. Ms. Thomas has received many natural resource awards and is the past vice chair of the board of directors of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
- John Tomke, chairman of the board of Ducks Unlimited, Inc., leader of its governance committee, representing game bird hunting organizations. Mr. Tomke served as Ducks Unlimited president from 2002-2005. He has been active in conservation since 1970 and also serves on the boards of Ducks Unlimited Canada, Ducks Unlimited de Mexico, and the Wetlands America Trust.
The council will also advise the departments about wildlife conservation endeavors that benefit hunting and wildlife resources and encourage partnerships among members of the public, the sporting conservation community, wildlife conservation groups, and State and Federal governments.
Other council members include:
- ·Robert Model, chairman, Boone and Crockett Club of America, representing big game hunting;
- Steve Mealey, former forest supervisor and member, Boone and Crockett Club of America, representing the hunting community;
- John Baughman, executive director, International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, representing state fish and wildlife agencies;
- Jeff Crane, president, Congressional Sportsmen Foundation, representing wildlife conservation organizations;
- Merle Shepard, vice president, Safari Club International, representing big game hunting organizations;
- Jim Mosher, executive director, North American Grouse Partnership, representing game bird organization;
- Peter J. Dart, president and chief executive officer, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, representing big game hunting organizations;
- Daniel R. Dessecker, senior wildlife biologist, Ruffed Grouse Society, representing game bird organizations.