November 2006

Anderson Among Winners Of AZGFD Commission Awards

Congratulations, Margie!

PHOENIX - The Arizona Game and Fish Department is pleased to announce the recipients of the 16th annual Arizona Game and Fish Commission Awards.

Over the years, the awards have honored individuals and groups that have contributed to Arizona's wildlife resources and the mission of the department.

Among the honorees this year is Margie Anderson, Outdoor Writer of the Year.

Anderson writes feature stories for the outdoor section of the Arizona Republic and contributes to 10 magazines that cover a wide range of outdoor-related topics. She is a regular writer for and Arizona Bureau Chief of Arizona Boating & Watersports news magazine.

Individuals, organizations, clubs, foundations or government agencies can be recognized for their achievements in 11 categories related to contributions to the welfare of Arizona wildlife.

In addition to Anderson, this year’s winners are:

  • Youth Environmentalist of the Year, Chad Kelliher: A student at Fort Thomas Schools, Kelliher is an active member of the Southeastern Arizona Sportsmen club and a participant in after-school shooting sports.
  • Media of the Year, Country Mountain Airways: Comprised of three stations, Country Mountain Airways features "Arizona Game and Fish Outdoor Minutes," a proactive segment dedicated to developing responsible actions and behaviors towards wildlife.
  • Conservation Organization of the Year, Mogollon Sporting Association: In its 14 years of existence, the Mogollon Sporting Association has raised more than $400,000 to benefit wildlife populations, recreation, and public outreach in the Payson area.
  • Outdoor Woman of the Year, Margaret Bohannan: Bohannan has been involved in public service to Arizona for more than 20 years. She has served as chairman for several conservation groups, including the Arizona Heritage Alliance, Arizona Hiking and Equestrian Trail Committee and the Resource Protection Core Group. 
  • Conservationist of the Year, Robert F. Veazey: A lifelong resident of Arizona, Veazey dedicated his life to aquatic management and conservation up to his death on Aug. 19, 2006. Volunteer contributions include Fishing for Fun fundraisers, the Ashurt Lake clean-up day, and serving as president of Anglers United.
  • Environmentalist of the Year, Michael J. (Mick) Rusing: A civil litigator based in Tucson, Rusing has participated in numerous community and pro bono projects for Arizona Game and Fish, most notably, editing the department nuisance bear policy.
  • Volunteer of the Year, Tom and Tomas Taylor and Family:  The Taylor family formed the Martinez Canyon Preservation project, dedicated to the reestablishment of native fish populations in Martinez Canyon.
  • Wildlife Habitat Stewardship Award, John and Linda Telles: Owners of the Double U Ranch in Gleason, John and Linda Telles have opened their property for outdoor user groups while providing improved habitat for wildlife.
  • Educator of the Year, Linda Diamantides: For the past seven years, Diamantides has specialized in teaching children and adults about natural resources through endeavors like Valley Forward, Learning Tree and Project WET.
  • Award of Excellence

-Terry Petko and Hunt of a Lifetime, who have helped nearly 200 seriously ill youngsters go hunting over the past five years,

-Clair D. Harris, a retired Flagstaff High School teacher who integrated Arizona Game and Fish volunteer projects within the science curriculum,

-State Senator Toni Hellon, responsible for legislation banning deliberate feeding of wildlife, 
- The Peregrine Fund — Condor Recovery Program, a leader in California condor recovery efforts and research, and

- Beth Woodin, former Arizona Game and Fish Commissioner and honorary member of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. 

"The commission is pleased to honor these stewards of wildlife for their ongoing commitment to helping preserve habitat and safeguard natural resources in Arizona," Game and Fish Commission Chairman Joe Melton said.

"With partners like these, we will continue to lead the nation in environmental protection efforts that will benefit our children and generations to come."

Award presentations will be made during the 2007 Arizona Game and Fish "Meet The Commission" Awards Banquet, to be held Jan. 20, 2007 at 5:30 p.m. at the Glendale Civic Center. 

Each year, the evening brings together hundreds of people who share a strong and personal interest in wildlife while providing an opportunity to meet the Game and Fish Commission.

Individual tickets are $50. Tables of 10 are $480 — a discount of $20. Organization sponsorships are available for $550 and include a table in the organization's name, a program ad, and five banquet tickets for the organization.

Another five tickets will be donated, in that organization's name, to award recipients and guests.

For more information or to obtain a reservation form, visit or contact Josh Avey at (602) 789-3281.