New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission Announces 2021 Awards of Excellence

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission has honored several individuals with the 2021 Commission Awards of Excellence for outstanding efforts in the conservation field in support of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s mission.

The 2021 Commission Awards of Excellence are as follows:

HABITAT STEWARDSHIP AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

David Roby, Sr., Lyme, NH
David Roby is the founder and primary supporter of the Bear Hill Conservancy Trust. The nearly 16,000 acres of diverse habitats is designated as high ecological value by the NH Fish and Game Wildlife Action Plan. Habitat treatments to enhance the acreage for a wide range of game and nongame species include smaller patch clear cuts and 10- to 20-acre clear cuts on a ten-year cycle for long-term forest stand diversity while protecting mast-producing trees and deer yards. All proceeds from these forest operations are reinvested in future habitat treatments.

David Roby’s land conservation and stewardship work have resulted in tens of thousands of acres of conserved fish and wildlife habitat across New Hampshire. All the properties across two counties and nearly ten towns that Roby has helped conserve are open to public use, which has resulted in diverse recreational opportunities over a large geographical area. This land base is very attractive to residents and nonresidents who hike, hunt, trap, fish, and view wildlife.

YOUTH CONSERVATIONIST AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

Jack Dalton, Manchester, NH
Jack Dalton, who goes by the name Kid Conservationist, may be a child, but he is already an animal activist, public speaker, educational YouTuber, and author. His mission is to protect animals and the environment through the power of education and inspiration. Even though he is only 11, Dalton has already been recognized for his work both locally and globally, including the 2021 Presidential Environmental Youth Award, a 2021 International Eco-Hero by Action for Nature Notable Mention, and a Top 20 Finalist for the first-ever TIME Kid of the Year in 2020.

Dalton’s work includes presenting at dozens of schools and libraries here in New Hampshire about the ways kids can be involved in helping to protect wildlife for years to come. He also showcases his work on his YouTube channel Kid Conservationist, including kayak river clean ups in Nashua, an interview with Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess about ways cities can go green to protect the environment, and his biggest project here in New Hampshire this year his “Save the Forest Lake” campaign, to help protect Forest Lake State Park and voice his concerns about what would happen if a landfill were located close to the park. Some of the other topics he presents on are plastic use, palm oil, trash clean up, how to reduce paper usage, the importance of getting out in nature, and many other tips to help wildlife and the environment. Dalton has also been interviewed by NHPR, NH Chronicle, the Union Leader, and the New Hampshire Journal.

ELLIS R. HATCH JR. COMMISSION AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

Richard Hutchins, Dover, NH
Richard Hutchins has been an active volunteer for over 20 years and involved in many organizations including the Great Bay Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Three Rivers Stocking Association, NH Fish and Game’s Aquatic Resources Education Trout in the Classroom (TIC) Program, and 4H. As the President and founding member of Three Rivers he has spent literally hundreds of hours fundraising and coordinating to provide fishing opportunities on the seacoast of New Hampshire. Hutchins also recently helped Three Rivers partner with Northeast Passage to create a Project Healing Waters Chapter, an organization dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military personnel and veterans through fly fishing and other outdoor activities.

With Great Bay Trout Unlimited he has served on the Board of Directors, worked with schools on raising trout and for release into local stream with TIC, as well as the River Clean-Up Days where GBTU members work to remove trash from local rivers and streams. Hutchins also loves to teach people about fly fishing. He has taught many 4H kids attending summer camp at the University of New Hampshire. He is happy to share his knowledge of fly fishing and love of the outdoors whenever he gets the chance.

There are eight award categories for New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission Awards of Excellence for 2022. If you are aware of a worthy individual or organization, please consider nominating them for the 2022 awards. Nominations must be submitted by December 31. For a description of the award categories and a nomination form or to see past winners, visit https://wildlife.state.nh.us/about/commission-awards.html.

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