2015 Governor’s Conservationist of the Year Award Announced
- ADF&G Press Release

Sam Cotten, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, Alaska 99811-5526

Press Release: March 13, 2015

Contact: Tony Kavalok, Division of Wildlife Conservation Assistant Director, (907) 861-2103

2015 Governor’s Conservationist of the Year Award Announced

(Juneau) — Commissioner Sam Cotten is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Governor’s Conservationist of the Year award. Nick and Karen Steen of Wasilla were recognized for their three decades of dedication to conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat in southcentral Alaska. Commissioner Cotten announced the recipients at the annual Safari Club International fundraiser at the Dena’ina Center on February 21, 2015, attended by nearly 800 people.

The Governor’s award is a way to honor people who have dedicated their lives to the conservation of fish and wildlife resources in Alaska and have worked diligently and effectively for the best use of those resources consistent with our constitutional mandate. Awardees are selected from nominations submitted by conservation organizations that support the traditions of angling, hunting, and trapping.

Mr. and Mrs. Steen were instrumental in forming a local chapter of The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) in 1992 to blend local sportsmen’s efforts with the Alaska wildlife management program. Largely due to their efforts between 1993 and their retirement from RGS in 2012, over $450,000 was raised to improve habitat for grouse and other wildlife. The chapter also funded graduate students, Becoming an Outdoors-Woman programs, and wildlife management and research.

Additionally, Mr. Steen coordinated efforts between sportsmen and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to fund successful transplants of ruffed grouse from interior Alaska to the Matanuska Valley in the 1980s and to the Kenai Peninsula in the mid-1990s. These bird populations succeeded and contribute to countless hours of outdoor recreation.

Commissioner Cotten summarized, “Nick and Karen Steen have provided a tremendous service to the people and wildlife of Alaska by dedicating themselves to raising funds and then following through to see those funds are used for worthy projects that restore habitat, encourage youth and women to participate in our hunting and shooting heritage, improve research for wildlife, and contribute to land use planning that benefits wildlife.”

The department would like to thank all of its conservation partners for their support and commitment to conserving Alaska’s valuable wildlife resources.