EDGEFIELD, S.C. — National Wild Turkey Federation CEO Becky Humphries today announced hiring Ross Melinchuk as the organization’s new vice president of conservation.
Melinchuk, of Austin, Texas, has more than four decades of experience in the natural resources field. He was the director of conservation programs and partnerships for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In this role, Melinchuk oversaw the department’s Land Conservation, Landscape Ecology and International Program sections, as well as the Water Resources Branch and the Project Management Office for nearly a year. For eight years prior, he was deputy executive director for natural resources for Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Before moving to Texas, Ross was director of public policy for Ducks Unlimited. In this role, Melinchuk was responsible for providing strategic direction for public policy and state grant activities for a 15-state region in the South and Southeastern United States. Before his 17-year career with DU, he served in Washington, D.C., as North American Waterfowl Management Plan coordinator for the then International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies from 1990-1992.
Melinchuk, a native of Saskatchewan, Canada, began his professional career with Saskatchewan Environment as a wildlife biologist in the mid-1970s, ending up as the agency’s North American Waterfowl Management Plan coordinator, a position he held until 1990, when he left Canada to work in Washington. He was graduated from the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario, with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology and earned a Master of Science degree in 1983 from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
“Ross is a conservation leader who brings a depth and breadth of experience to the NWTF that truly is unparalleled, and I am very excited to have him join our team.” said Humphries. “With his diverse geographic and professional backgrounds, he understands that conservation is a combination of working on the landscape and engaging with people.”
Melinchuk has a unique perspective from each side of a partnership project; from the agency side and the nonprofit side. “This knowledge will help us strengthen our current partnerships and build new ones as we move forward with our mission and the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative,” Humphries said.
“I am truly honored to be joining the ranks of the dedicated staff, members and volunteers of the National Wild Turkey Federation,” said Melinchuk, who is an avid turkey hunter. “The NWTF’s mission is grounded in sound science, resource stewardship and a strong hunting heritage. I embrace that mission both personally and professionally, and hope that my experience, leadership and collaborative approach to conservation will lead to even greater achievements in the years ahead.”
Ross, and his childhood sweetheart and wife, Sheryl, have one daughter and two grandchildren.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.5 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.
For more information, contact Pete Muller at (803) 637-7698