Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason has been honored with the Professional Award of Merit from the North Central Section of the Wildlife Society. Mason was presented his award Dec. 5 at the 72nd Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.
Mason, who took over as head of the wildlife division in 2008 after a lengthy career in wildlife management with USDA Wildlife Services, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the State of Nevada, is the third Michigan recipient of the award. Former DNR biologists Lou Verme and Ed Langenau were honored in1989 and 1994 respectively.
The award — which is not given out every year – honors an active wildlife professional who has contributed to knowledge, enjoyed an outstanding accomplishment, or displayed leadership over a number of years.
“It is truly humbling to receive such an honor from my peers,” Mason said. “I’d like to thank former DNR Director Becky Humphries, who gave me the opportunity to come to Michigan to work in state wildlife management, current Director Rodney Stokes for continuing to provide that opportunity, as well as the dedicated DNR staff and an army of conservation-minded hunters, trappers and anglers, who make everything we’ve accomplished in Michigan possible.”