The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) and the Association of Joint Venture Management Boards (AJVMB) honored Kirk Nelson with the Bird Conservation Award at the 75th Annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference on March 25.
The Fourth Annual Awards Reception was held at the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service/ National Fish and Wildlife Foundation where the visionaries in the promotion and Implementation of integrated bird conservation on the ground and through policy and legislation were recognized for their efforts. Each recipient has worked to promote bird conservation through the work of the Joint Ventures and Bird Conservation initiatives.
Each year, individuals or groups who have shown unparalleled accomplishments in bird conservation as contained in the principles of NABCI and the national/international bird initiatives (North American Waterfowl Management Plan, Partners In Flight, Waterbird Conservation for the Americas, National Shorebird Plans, and/or the resident game bird plans) are honored.
Nelson, assistant director-fish and wildlife at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, has served as Chairman of the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, Association of Joint Venture Management Boards, and AFWA Partners in Flight/Shorebird/Waterbird Working Group. He is also a member of the AFWA Southern Wings Leadership Team and was a member of the U.S. NABCI Committee in his role as AJVMB Chair.
As Chair of the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Management Board (RWBJV), Nelson oversaw the Joint Venture’s transition from basic project delivery to integrated bird conservation, helping to direct the RWBJV’s focus to all birds and their habitats. He has encouraged participation in the Southern Wings program, which strives to increase the quality and quantity of partnerships between the State agencies in the U.S. and conservation organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
As past chair of the Association of Joint Venture Management Boards, Nelson helped the Joint Ventures develop a clear message about their value and speak with one voice about JV priorities, critical needs and accomplishments. Dialogue with elected officials has resulted in funding increases to support the expansion of Joint Ventures to cover the entire United States and support the science capacity necessary to develop biologically sound bird conservation plans.