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WSF Special Service & Hunting Awards Given at Sheep Show®

January 29, 2024

At this past Sheep Show®, the Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) presented several awards for service to conservation and mountain game hunting.

“The Sheep Show® raises millions of dollars for wild sheep conservation,” said Gray N. Thornton, president and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. “But we also recognize outstanding individuals and groups that do the good work on the ground, help advance our Mission, and those admired for their efforts in safely and successfully guiding their clients on their adventures.”

Kim Neiters, WSF’s VP of Operations and Auction Director received a Special Service Award for her 36 years of service to FNAWS and the Wild Sheep Foundation.

The Gordon Eastman Grass Roots Awards was presented to Mike Borel of California WSF for his relentless and tireless efforts to conserve California’s desert bighorn sheep.

The Wild Sheep Biologist Wall of Fame Award was presented to WSF Conservation Director Kurt Alt for his lifelong service to wild sheep and wildlife conservation in Montana and internationally.

The 2024 Chair’s Award, chosen by WSF Chairman Glen Landrus, was presented to the Hells Canyon Initiative for its multi-year, multi-state commitment to restoring bighorn sheep into Washington, Idaho, and Oregon’s Hell Canyon region and ensuring these herds are disease-free.

WSF’s Outstanding Conservationist Award recognizes an individual for outstanding, exemplary, and long-term contributions to wild sheep conservation and management. The Award was given to Steve Kilpatrick for his career of tireless work with Wyoming’s wild sheep.

The Butch Townsend Youth Conservation Award was presented to Ms. Hallie Swan of Idaho, and this year’s Jack O'Connor Writer’s Award was presented to Yukon’s Vern Peters.

An Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to a citizen-led Vail Bighorn Sheep Initiative for their tireless work in holding back the loss of critical bighorn winter range to a housing development near Vail, CO.

Outstanding Achievement Awards were also presented to Nevada Congressmen Mark Amodei and Steven Horsford for their leadership to support desert bighorn sheep conservation and management on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and their efforts to encourage cooperation between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Air Force - both vital to wild sheep and national security.

The Federal Stateman Award was presented to the US Fish & Wildlife Service International Affairs Division for their collaborative work with WSF and a consortium of partner hunter/conservationist organizations to improve the permitting process and incentivize sustainable use of argali and ibex in range states. The award was accepted on behalf of the service by USFWS Deputy Assistant Director Don Morgan.

The 2024 G.C.F. Dalziel Outstanding Guide Award was given posthumously to Alaska guide and pilot Shane Reynolds. Accepting the award was Shane’s wife, Gina, and daughter, Juliet.

The Frank Golata Outstanding Outfitter Award was presented to Coke Wallace of Alaska’s Midnight Sun Outfitting. This Award was established in 1996 to recognize a North American outfitter who outfits primarily for mountain game and whose entire career has exemplified the honor and dignity of the proud profession of outfitting.

Janet Drake (AZ) was presented with the Artemis Outstanding Woman Conservationist Award, which recognizes an outstanding WSF woman leader and mountain hunter who has made significant contributions to WSF, wild sheep, and other mountain game conservation.

The Chris Klineburger Mountain Hunter Hall of Fame Award was presented to Alan and Barbara Sackman from New York. This is WSF’s most prestigious award and is reserved for those select few who are recognized as icons in the sheep-hunting and conservation community.

The 2024 Conklin Foundation Award was presented to Eduardo Negrete of Mexico. The Award presented by the Conklin Foundation annually recognizes the world’s most accomplished active hunters who pursue a game in the most difficult terrain and conditions while abiding by the highest standards of ethics and fair chase and is a strong participant in wildlife conservation.

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