Mississippi’s Dave Godwin Honored
For Dedication to Bobwhite Quail Restoration
|Godwin, right, and South Carolina’s Billy Dukes, past NBTC Steering Committee Chair and chair of Awards Committee|
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Wild Turkey/Small Game Program Coordinator Dave Godwin walked away with the National Bobwhite Technical Committee’s (NBTC) annual award for “outstanding efforts and contributions” to the conservation and management of bobwhite quail – and a standing ovation – at the committee’s annual meeting in Tallahassee, Florida, last week.
The NBTC is comprised of the fish and wildlife agencies of the 25-state core range of the bobwhite quail, various research institutions and private conservation groups. It is the parent entity of the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI), the unified strategy to restore wild quail on a national, range-wide level.
Multiple nominations of Godwin, widely known as “Mississippi’s Small Game Hunting Ambassador,” cited his historic support for bobwhite restoration on the national, regional and state levels. He served various elected capacities with the NBTC – including chairman of the steering committee from 2006 to 2008 – to oversee its expansion from the regional Southeastern Quail Study Group to a range-wide effort, and the selection of the formal headquarters of the NBCI at the University of Tennessee.
Godwin was also cited for helping make small game and bobwhite conservation a priority in his own home state of Mississippi, including creating the position of statewide quail coordinator, launching the state’s first-ever private lands habitat development program, completing the state’s first statewide strategic quail plan, and establishing quail management demonstrations on state wildlife management areas.
“I am truly honored to receive this award from my peers,” said Godwin. “It has been a true honor to serve the National Bobwhite Technical Committee, and to work on bobwhite conservation issues within the State of Mississippi. The long-term, range wide decline of bobwhite quail is one of the greatest conservation challenges of our time. I accept this award on behalf of all of those who have worked to reverse the decline of quail in Mississippi.”