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02/11/2012

National Award Presented to Arizona Conservationist

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Photos and interviews for media available upon request through Josh Fleming.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Every year, the NWTF rewards exceptional volunteers for their outstanding dedication to the NWTF’s conservation efforts with a Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Award.

This year, Steve Sams, of Prescott Valley, Ariz., received a Latham service award for his commitment to the NWTF’s mission of the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

He received the award in Nashville, Tenn., during the NWTF’s 36th annual National Convention and Sport Show, which was themed “Hunters: Champions of Conservation.” MidwayUSA was the official convention sponsor.

“Steve’s dedication to the NWTF’s mission made him an outstanding choice for this award,” said James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., NWTF’s chief conservation officer. “We are proud to recognize all he has done as a true champion of conservation to ensure our valuable land and wildlife remains healthy for the next generation to enjoy.”

The Latham service awards are given to NWTF members who are not employed as professional wildlife managers, but have made significant contributions to wild turkey conservation.

Sams first got involved in conservation projects as a freshman in high school by planting trees and raising pheasants. His work culminated with the reintroduction and enhancement of populations of Gould’s wild turkey in Arizona.

“Hunters are the greatest supporters of conservation,” Sams said. “In order to insure that our hunting heritage continues, I’ve given my time teaching hunter education and safe firearms handling to youth and adults. If they carry on and teach their kids and grandkids, that’s an amazing accomplishment.”

Sams has devoted 26 years to instructing thousands of young people in conservation and safe firearm handling. He said winning this award was possible because of all the dedicated people he has worked with over the years. Sams noted one of his proudest moments as taking part in the release of the 200,00th wild turkey to suitable habitat in Arizona in 2011.

Roger Demanette, Tom Howe, Bryan Perry and Jim Wescott also took home Latham service awards from this year’s convention.

The NWTF is a nonprofit conservation organization. Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $372 million to conserve 17 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.

The NWTF works to increase interest in the outdoors by bringing new hunters and conservationists into the fold through outdoor education events and its outreach programs Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin’ Sportsmen, JAKES and Xtreme JAKES.

For more information about the Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Awards or other convention highlights, call (800) THE-NWTF, visit www.nwtf.org or go to www.facebook.com/theNWTF.

2012 Convention Sponsors

MidwayUSA — Official Sponsor
Academy Sports + Outdoors, Barronett Blinds, Bass Pro Shops, Benelli, Big Tex Trailers, Bird Dog and Whitetail Whiskey, Browning, Cabela’s, Chevrolet, Federal Premium Ammunition, Marlin Firearms, Mossy Oak, Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nationwide, O.F. Mossberg, Remington Arms Company, Inc., Titan UTV, Winchester/Olin Corporation, U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance, Weatherby, Wild Turkey Bourbon

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