Cadiz, Ky., Man Wins National Conservation Award
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Paul Godwin of Cadiz, Ky., a tireless advocate for conservation projects and outdoor youth programs, has been chosen for the NWTF’s Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Award.
Godwin received the award at the annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show Feb. 14-17 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, which celebrated the NWTF’s 40th anniversary with the theme, “Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.”
Godwin was honored with the prestigious award for his commitment to the NWTF’s mission of the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage. Latham Awards are given to NWTF members who are not professional wildlife managers, but have made significant contributions to wild turkey conservation.
In addition to his work on conservation and youth programs throughout Kentucky, Godwin also singled-handedly turned a dying NWTF chapter into one of the top chapters in the state.
Godwin took charge, taking over duties as chapter president, banquet chairman, sponsor chairman and JAKES and Wheelin’ Sportsman coordinator for the Trigg County Longspurs then recruited an active committee that has made an impact in several ways in the local community.
“To hear him talk about (the Trigg County Longspurs) is like hearing someone talk about their children,” said Hope Coffey, the NWTF regional director in western Kentucky.
“Regardless of what the task is, Paul is always the first to raise his hand and volunteer his time to the NWTF,” said Ken Dozer, president of the NWTF Kentucky State Chapter. “We could all learn a lesson about commitment by simply watching Paul work. He truly is an ambassador for the NWTF.”
Under Godwin’s leadership the Trigg County chapter has supported the local Future Farmers of America, Archery in the Schools and 4-H shooting sports, while providing JAKES scholarships and gun and hunter safety for youth. The chapter also holds an annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen turkey hunt for wounded soldiers.
Last summer, the former Army paratrooper, worked numerous hours to help create suitable wildlife habitat at Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
He also worked two full days performing various tasks - including set up and cleanup at the Kentucky Still Target Championships and Kentucky State Calling Contest, driving more than three hours each way to support the Kentucky State Chapter-sponsored events.
Latham Awards are given to NWTF members who are not professional wildlife managers, but have made significant contributions to wild turkey conservation.
“Paul has shown an amazing level of leadership and dedication to wildlife conservation and the preservation of our hunting heritage,” said James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., the NWTF’s chief conservation officer.
The NWTF, a nonprofit organization, is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation. Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore 17.3 million acres of wildlife habitat, investing $412 million.
Since the NWTF’s founding in 1973, the North American wild turkey population has increased from 1.3 million to 6.5 million with wild turkey inhabiting 99 percent of suitable habitat.