Fish and Game Commission bestows excellence awards

May 06. 2018 9:32PM

Janice Boynton of Dunbarton received the Fish and Game Volunteer Award for Excellence. (COURTESY)

CONCORD — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission recently honored several individuals with the 2017 Commission Awards of Excellence for outstanding efforts in the conservation field in support of the NH Fish and Game Department’s mission.

The 2017 Commission Awards of Excellence (presented on April 18, 2018) were as follows:

Volunteer Award

Janice Boynton of Dunbarton has been involved with the NH Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program since the 1990s. Over the years, she has been a consistent and dedicated supporter quietly working behind the scenes. Janice has been a volunteer committee member, has served on the merchandise committee, and has handled the finances for BOW, Barry Camp, and the BOW Scholarship funds.

Letters of support describe her as having “excellent communication and organizational skills that have made her a real asset and joy to work with.”

“She is a team player and is always friendly, compassionate, and respectful of others.”

“Being a volunteer herself is admirable, but one thing that is unique about Janice is her amazing ability to gather others and encourage them to work for a common cause,” said Fish and Game Commissioner Todd Baldwin. “It has been said she is the happiest when she is volunteering and sharing her passion with others.”

Conservation organization

Since 1984, the University of New Hampshire’s Cooperative Extension has partnered with NH Fish and Game for the joint purpose of conducting a conservation camp for kids.

The Barry Conservation Camp is located on the grounds of the Berlin State Fish Hatchery and U.S. Forest Service lands. It consists of six rustic cabins, a multipurpose building with gathering space, a dining hall, and restroom facilities as well as fishing, swimming, hiking, and shooting access all within close proximity.

UNH has taken on the primary role of administering the camp, from hiring camp counselors to juggling the logistics of camper registrations and everything else that is needed to run a conservation camp. Over the years, thousands of kids have benefitted from Barry Conservation Camp.

“Without the partnership with UNH in this conservation effort,” said Baldwin, “we would not have had the success in reaching so many youth and teaching them about conservation, nor would we be able to continue to do so for future generations.”

Larry Barker and Jamie Welch, director of the camp, accepted on behalf of the University of New Hampshire. Barker said, “We would like to recognize Jamie Welch for his 12 years as director, and as a former camper himself his professionalism is unparalleled.”

Habitat stewardship

Bear-Paw Regional Greenways of Deerfield is a nonprofit land trust that works to permanently conserve land throughout southeastern New Hampshire to protect the region’s water, wildlife habitat, forests, and farmland. Bear-Paw has successfully worked with the Department, local communities, and local landowners to protect 8,000 acres across 11 towns. These lands expand and enhance conserved habitats around Bear Brook State Park and Pawtuckaway State Park and contribute to connections between them.

“The partnership between Bear-Paw Regional Greenways and the NH Fish and Game Department is a key example of the type of partnerships needed for successful conservation of our natural resources,” said Fish and Game Commissioner Barry Carr.

Because of their efforts, these lands are open to the public for outdoor recreation, including hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing, and will be for generations to come.

“We really appreciate the support and recognition and are looking forward to the next 8,000 acres we get to conserve,” said Dan Kern, who accepted the award on behalf of Bear-Paw.

Communications award

Since 2014, Jeff Traynor of Dunbarton has led an effort to advocate for regulated trapping and science-based wildlife management. He has created a top-notch website, maintains a blog where he writes well researched articles, and he effectively uses social media to create awareness and educate the public on the importance of trapping.

Traynor spends countless hours researching topics, deciphering scientific articles and data, and then writing and publishing that information in a style all can understand. It is all part of his tireless pursuit of communicating to the world about wildlife conservation.

“Jeff is a true conservationist at heart, with a gifted talent for writing and communication,” said Fish and Game Commissioner Ernest Millette. “We thank Jeff for his efforts and look forward to more good work to come.”

Ellis R. Hatch Jr. award

The Commission’s highest honor, the Ellis R. Hatch Junior Award of Excellence, was awarded to Dan Dockham of Gilmanton, an avid New Hampshire sportsman. Dockham has been an advocate for sportsmen’s rights for more than five decades and has been committed to preserving the heritage of hunting and trapping. He has also been an advocate for science-based management of the state’s wildlife and natural resources.

He has been a long time and very active member of various sportsmen’s groups in New Hampshire and has served as a liaison to the NH Fish and Game Department. Dockham has served as a voice for sportsmen both in New Hampshire and beyond. He has attended and testified at countless legislative hearings and department rulemaking hearings. He has served as a “watchdog” on legislation that would have adverse impacts on hunters and trappers rights and resource management.

Dockham has spent countless hours volunteering on department projects and research initiatives. In the 1980s, he assisted with capturing bears for tagging. This work was instrumental in developing our early knowledge of the vulnerability of bears as it relates to hunter harvest.

More recently, he volunteered on the bobcat research project and assisted biologists in live-capturing bobcats that were fitted with radio telemetry and GPS units as part of a collaborative study between the department and the University of New Hampshire.

“Dan truly exemplifies the definition of a sportsman and is one who puts the state’s wildlife and natural resources above all else,” said Fish and Game Commissioner Robert Phillipson.


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