Bozeman, Montana. October 21, 2020. The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) congratulates one of its own, Clay Brewer, for winning the first-ever Dallas Safari Club (DSC) Conservation Trailblazer Award.
The award celebrates the immense contribution of wildlife professionals in the field of game and non-game wildlife conservation, including wildlife and habitat management, and applied research, and policy. Brewer serves as WSF’s Conservation Director and Bighorn Programs Lead.
“When one thinks of the incredible comeback of desert bighorn sheep in the Lone Star State, one name comes to mind first and foremost – Clay Brewer,” said Gray N. Thornton, president, and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. “Humble, capable, innovative, tireless, and always passing credit he should earn onto others.”
DSC Executive Director Corey Mason says Brewer’s career epitomizes a Conservation Trailblazer and what can be accomplished for wildlife and wild places through dedication, collaboration, and selfless work.
“Having the privilege of working for and with him over the years, I can personally attest that there is no one more deserving of this recognition,” Mason said. “On behalf of all of us at DSC and beyond, thank you for your immense contributions to wildlife conservation, including the many people that you have touched and trained along the way.”
“I’ve spent my career doing something I have loved deeply,” Brewer responded. “To be recognized for my life’s work is truly an honor.”
Brewer led Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) desert bighorn restoration efforts, hand in hand with the Texas Bighorn Society and the private landowners crucial to the program’s success.
Thornton added, “During his 30+ year career with TPWD, Clay’s ability and creativity brought public and private stakeholders together to form a win, win, win paradigm yet unseen in the typical “public land” model of wild sheep restoration. The result was desert sheep restoration from near zero to a population level of pre-European settlement of the Texas Republic.”
Over the past four years, Brewer has brought his Texas-born innovation and ability to bring diverse interests and stakeholders together in Mexico to form the Mexico Council for the Conservation of Desert Bighorn Sheep. The Council serves as a consultative body to WSF and state and federal governments in Mexico. In partnership with Mexican desert bighorn sheep advocates and private landowners, Brewer established WSF’s Mexico Initiative. Using market forces and his uncanny ability to communicate a conservation vision, he encouraged private land/desert sheep owners to relocate desert bighorns behind high fence to suitable and previously occupied but extirpated unfenced desert sheep habitat. The result has been hundreds of desert bighorns released into the wild under free-range conditions. Together with his Mexican partners, he’s built a lasting legacy of conservation for all Mexicans and non-Mexicans alike to enjoy for generations to come.
“Clay Brewer is a Texan and epitomizes the can-do, no challenge too unbearable, pull up your bootstraps and get it done nature of those born and raised in the Republic. Clay’s conservation mantra says it best when he shares his unwavering guide to ‘keep his focus on that bighorn on the ridgeline,” Thornton concluded.
WSF salutes Clay as the inaugural recipient of the prestigious DSC Conservation Trailblazer Award!
The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF), based in Bozeman, Mont., was founded in 1977 by wild sheep conservationists and enthusiasts. With a membership of more than 8,500 worldwide, WSF is the premier advocate for wild sheep and other mountain wildlife and their habitats. WSF has raised and expended more than $135 million on wild sheep habitat and population enhancements, education, and conservation advocacy programs in North America, Europe, and Asia to “Put and Keep Wild Sheep On the Mountain”®. These and other efforts have increased bighorn sheep populations in North America from historic lows in the 1950-60s of 25,000 to more than 85,000 today. www.wildsheepfoundation.org.