NWTF Volunteer Named Field & Stream's Conservation Hero of the Year
Field & Stream, the world’s leading outdoor magazine, has named Steve Sams of Prescott Valley, Ariz., as the publication’s 2013 Conservation Hero of the Year. Field & Stream’s Heroes of Conservation program, now in its eighth year, is dedicated to honoring volunteers involved in grassroots projects that protect and maintain fish and wildlife habitat across the country.
Sams was notified of the win at a gala event in Washington, D.C., the evening of September 19, 2013, where he was one of six finalists in the running for the title. Each of the finalists was presented with a $5,000 grant and Sams was also awarded a redesigned 2014 Toyota Tundra, courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc., the sole sponsor of the program.
“Steve’s volunteerism has the potential to positively impact conservation for generations to come,” said Anthony Licata, Editorial Director of Field & Stream. “Sportsmen can achieve far more by working together, and Steve’s work in Arizona really exemplifies that ideal.”
Sams, a state hunter-education instructor and a volunteer with the National Wild Turkey Federation, has dedicated his life to the preservation of the outdoor sports and wildlife. He has introduced more than 2,000 kids to hunting in 10 years of organizing mentored youth pheasant hunts and four years of leading youth turkey camps. He was a charter member of the Hunting and Angling Heritage Work Group, a collaborative that has grown from four sportsmen’s groups to more than 30, to break down competitive barriers and pool resources.
“This is a very important program to Toyota because it acknowledges individuals who go out of their way to make the environment a better place,” said Steve Appelbaum, National Manager, Engagement Marketing, Toyota Motor Sales. “These people aren't looking for gratitude or recognition. Instead, they work tirelessly because they want to make a difference--for our generation and generations to come. We take great pride in being able to spotlight their efforts on a national stage.”
The outstanding efforts of all the magazine’s featured Heroes can be seen in action on Field & Stream’s Heroes of Conservation TV:
- Jeffery Gorr, Sheboygan, Wis., who has spent more than 25 years teaching young waterfowlers and helping preserve wildlife habitat.
- Doug Hutzell, Hagerstown, Md., who founded an organization to protect the state’s largest spring-fed limestone creek and restore its self-sustaining wild brown trout fishery.
- Laura McIver, Oklahoma City, Ok., who has raised more than $100,000 since 2005 to aid in quail habitat improvement.
- David Sweet, Cody, Wyo., who offered a helping hand to native cutthroat trout in the Yellowstone River in their fight against an invasive predator.
- Gene Wright, Burley, Idaho, who has logged more than 8,000 volunteer hours over the last 22 years, on call as a volunteer reservist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.