NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The National Wild Turkey Federation honored Vicki Christiansen with the C.B. McLeod Award for her productive and enduring career with the USDA Forest Service and her dedication to conservation, forest health and public land access.
“I’m very humbled to receive the C.B. McLeod Award from an absolutely great organization,” Christiansen said. “My passion is connecting people to their natural resources and conserving those resources for current and future generations. We can do that best by sharing stewardship across landownerships and across disciplines. NWTF is a leader in wildlife conservation by welcoming all people to connect to their natural resources through their very successful Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. It is truly an honor to receive this award from NWTF because they are an exemplary leader in sharing stewardship for the greatest good. ”
Christiansen was awarded the C.B. McLeod Award at the 46th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak. Christiansen was unable to attend in person.
C.B McLeod, former NWTF National Board member, was a pillar in establishing the foundation of the NWTF. He kept the NWTF financially solvent during the early years and had a heart for conservation and the mission to restore the wild turkey. This award honoring him recognizes individuals who dedicate their lives to wildlife conservation.
Christiansen served as Forest Service chief from 2018 to 2021 and led the agency through multiple obstacles, including challenging hurricane and fire seasons and the pandemic, and through it all, she led the agency with empathy and integrity.
According to a press release issued by the USDA Forest Service, accomplishments under Christiansen’s leadership include year after year of historic timber production and millions of acres treated to reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest resilience to fire. The Forest Service also recently completed a suite of regulatory reforms to modernize and align itself to new legislative authorities that reduce regulatory burdens and expedite critical forest management work. Thanks to Christiansen’s collaborative approach, 50 states and territories are involved in Shared Stewardship agreements to ensure the right work gets done in the right place at the right time.
“Former Chief’s Christensen’s contributions to the Forest Service and our country as a whole have distinguished her as a true conservationist,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “Vicki stepped up to the role as Forest Service Chief among so many challenges facing our forests and public lands, and, throughout her tenure, she led the agency with diligence, sound science and empathy. We are immensely thankful for her contributions to our nation’s conservation success story.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 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. Since 2012, this 10-year initiative has already eclipsed goals of conserving or enhancing more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruiting or retaining more than 1.5 million hunters and opening access to more than 500,000 acres for hunting and other recreation opportunities. This critical work will continue to impact wildlife habitat and our great outdoors in the final year of the initiative.