NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The National Wild Turkey Federation honored Vern Ross with the C.B. McLeod Award for his productive and enduring career with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and his dedication to conservation.
“I'm very proud of the work I have done over the years,” Ross said. “When I was executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, I had the privilege of working with the NWTF to develop the Youth Mentoring Hunt in Pennsylvania. Working with the NWTF over the years, we have developed a great partnership in habitat improvement across our state. Having been a member of the NWTF since 1981, and serving as a National Board member for 12 years, I’m proud of the work done by the NWTF; they talk the talk and walk the walk.”
Ross accepted the C.B. McLeod Award at the 44th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show.
C.B McLeod, NWTF National Board member, was a pillar in establishing the foundation of the NWTF. Favorable lending practices along with his diligent efforts to keep the NWTF financially solvent during the early years was invaluable. McLeod had a heart for conservation and believed in the mission to restore the wild turkey. This award honoring him recognizes individuals who dedicate their lives to wildlife conservation.
Ross has been a dedicated member to the NWTF since 1981 and has served in various roles, including chairman and president of the NWTF’s National Board of Directors. In addition, Ross served as CEO of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Ross has been an avid hunter for more than 50 years, and he loves sharing the outdoors with others. His work with the NWTF established a youth mentor hunt through the Families Afield Program, which more than 40,000 youth took advantage of in the first year alone.
Upon retiring from the PGC, Ross cofounded the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation, where he served as executive director and raised more than $2 million to enhance habitat, fund research and provide education programs.
“Vern has been an asset to the NWTF since his involvement many years ago,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “We are proud to honor Vern’s achievements and dedicated service as a professional in the wildlife conservation community and as a volunteer.”
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 – 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.