Texas Wildlife Manager Awarded Honor for White-tail Deer Management

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Mitch Lockwood, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wildlife biologist, has been awarded the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' prestigious Mark J. Reeff Memorial Award. The award, for dedication to wildlife, youth, landowners and natural resources, was presented at the Association's 2006 Annual Meeting last week in Snowmass, Colorado.

The hallmark of the Mark J. Reeff Memorial Award is to acknowledge good ideas pursued with dedication and persistence. Each year, the award is presented to an individual who is 35 years-old or younger, and has distinguished themselves by outstanding commitment to wildlife management. The award was designed by the Association to acknowledge and encourage younger professionals to "address the myriad of issues they now face, ever-increasing in range and complexity, with a spirit of innovation and determination."

Particular recognition is due to those who willingly accept more difficult challenges, and inspire others to do the same.

Lockwood was hired as the Texas White-Tailed Deer Program Leader, and within one year he was challenged with evaluating statewide deer data collection and analysis. As a result, he led the charge to implement important changes that improved the science and efficiency of deer data collection and analysis in Texas.

Lockwood re-defined sampling, and survey procedures using modern technology and software, and introduced staff to ecology-based efforts by focusing on where deer live, habitat conditions, and what they eat.

"Mitch Lockwood exemplifies why Texas Parks and Wildlife is an exceptional conservation organization and one of the top state agencies in Texas and the nation," said Robert Cook, TPWD executive director. "Mitch is an intelligent, dedicated and sincere wildlife biologist. He cares about wildlife and he cares about Texas. We have known from the beginning that Mitch is "Top Notch." It's gratifying to know that other folks recognize that also."

Earlier this year, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also recognized Lockwood for his achievement in improving deer assessment methods with an Employee Recognition Award in the Innovation category.

For more information about the Mark J. Reeff Award, and to view a video presentation of Mitch Lockwood in the field, visit us on the web at www.fishwildlife.org.

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies -- the organization that represents all of North America's fish and wildlife agencies -- promotes sound management and conservation, and speaks with a unified voice on important fish and wildlife issues. Found on the web at www.fishwildlife.org.