PHOENIX — Five new members were inducted into the Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame at the Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation's annual Outdoor Hall of Fame banquet on Aug. 24. The four individuals and one organization were honored for outstanding contributions and service that have benefited Arizona's wildlife and their habitats.
|Left to right: Steve Clark, Arizona Elk Society; Tom Mackin; Steve Hirsch, president of Wildlife for Tomorrow; State Representative Jerry Weiers; Paul Berquist; Tom Woods, former Arizona Game and Fish Commissioner accepting on behalf of inductee Beth Woodin.
This year's inductees are:
State Representative Jerry Weiers. Rep. Weiers (R-Glendale) is a life-long conservationist whose efforts at the Arizona Legislature and in his personal life have benefited the state’s wildlife. He was a key legislator in the passage in 2005 of Senate Bill 1365, a measure that advanced the interests of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, sportsmen and wildlife conservation in Arizona. In 2006 he sponsored House Bill 2129, a bill that strengthened the penalties for poaching wildlife. He continues to be an advocate for legislation that would help manage and enhance off-highway vehicle recreation and protect habitat from its impacts. Rep. Weiers is a life member of the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, the Arizona Antelope Foundation and the Arizona Elk Society and recently created Arizona Legislators for Wildlife, a group dedicated to maintaining and enhancing Arizona's wildlife and habitats and protecting hunting and fishing as important wildlife management tools.
Beth Woodin. Ms. Woodin served on the Arizona Game and Fish Commission from 1990-95. Her background both in environmental conservation and hunting, along with her ties to a number of diverse groups, enabled her to serve as a moderating influence and balance the interests of various public users. She has been on the board of the Arizona Heritage Alliance since 1996, working to maintain the long-term viability of the Heritage Fund and ensure it continues to benefit wildlife in Arizona. Ms. Woodin has worked with a variety of conservation organizations over the years, including the Arizona Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. She also served on the advisory board to the University of Arizona School of Natural Resources.
Paul Berquist. Mr. Berquist is a renowned wildlife photographer whose work has appeared in almost every publication having to do with Arizona's diverse wildlife and habitat, including Arizona Highways magazine, Arizona Wildlife Views magazine, National Wildlife magazine, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's publications, and various billboards, cards and other publications. Mr. Berquist was already an avid hunter and angler when he arrived in Arizona as a member of the U.S. Air Force. He retired from the Air Force in 1974 and became a full-time wildlife photographer after that. It is likely that much of the appreciation Arizona's citizens and visitors have for the state's wildlife is merely a reflection of what Mr Berquist has memorialized through the lens of his cameras.
Tom Mackin. Over the past decade, Mr. Mackin has spent almost every Saturday and at least one weekday per week during spring, summer and fall, improving and maintaining the Pat Springs pipeline in Game Management Unit 7E north of Flagstaff. The pipeline provides water to countless numbers of wildlife. In addition, he and other members of the Coconino Sportsman group have repaired and redeveloped several other water developments in Units 5B and 7. He is a member of the Flagstaff/Williams Habitat Partnership Committee, the Coconino County Search and Rescue, and a volunteer for the Nature Conservancy. He works for the Flagstaff Police Department and Coconino County Sheriff's Office as technical support for their computer systems.
Arizona Elk Society. This 1,400-member organization was formed six years ago in response to concern over the growing needs of Arizona's elk population. The group conducts public outreach efforts, habitat enhancement projects, youth activities, and significant fundraising efforts to benefit elk and other wildlife. One of the Elk Society’s key efforts was the realignment of the Burro Creek allotment, a collaboration with the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona Game and Fish Department and local cattle ranchers to secure more than 24,000 acres of land for wildlife needs. The effort helped eliminate conflicts between ranchers and the public at the Big Lake Recreation Area and helped create new borders for the remaining ranchers to streamline their grazing operations. The total cost of the project, $315,000, was paid in full by the Arizona Elk Society.
The Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame was established in 1998 by the Wildlife For Tomorrow Foundation to honor those who have made significant and lasting contributions to benefit Arizona’s wildlife and the welfare of its natural resources.
The Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation was created in 1990 to enhance the management, protection and enjoyment of Arizona's fish and wildlife resources. The foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works closely with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to provide additional support for projects and education activities where traditional resources are not adequate.