RESTON, Va. (June 20, 2016) – This weekend, the National Wildlife Federation recognized Janice Bezanson, Executive Director of the Texas Conservation Alliance, for her unfailing efforts to protect waters and wildlife habitat in Texas.
“The hallmark of Janice Bezanson’s three-decade career in conservation has been galvanizing coalitions of non-traditional allies to achieve on-the-ground conservation successes, such as the creation of the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Her broad accomplishments—from mentoring young conservationists to lobbying Congress—demonstrate Bezanson’s guiding influence as a leading member of the NWF community.”
The ceremony took place at the National Wildlife Federation’s annual meeting and 80th anniversary celebration, held in Estes Park, Colorado. The Charlie Shaw Conservation Partnership Award honors individuals who have demonstrated a true appreciation for the value and potential of the NWF-affiliate partnership.
Janice Bezanson: Charlie Shaw Conservation Partnership Award
Janice Bezanson’s life in conservation began in an unassuming manner. The stay-at-home mom had no idea that her talents and passions would lead her to become the Executive Director of the Texas Conservation Alliance (TCA) when she first began volunteering in the early 1980s. Over the past three decades, Bezanson tallied an impressive track record. Her career has spanned a broad range of activities – lobbying Congress, recruiting volunteers, generating media coverage, heading up education programs and outdoor events, raising funds, supervising staff, serving on advisory boards, and coordinating with other conservation organizations.
The hallmark of her career, however, has been organizing coalitions of often non-traditional allies to accomplish conservation achievements that others often said could not be done. Her success bringing together these diverse coalitions has manifested itself in a number of exceptional ways, from the creation of national wildlife refuges to more ecological management of public lands. Janice has mentored young conservationists, helped fledgling organizations forge strong leadership, conducted workshops on fundraising and developing issues campaigns, helped citizen groups address local issues, and recruited a host of volunteers – many of whom went on to enlist others in conservation. She has also worked closely with the National Wildlife Federation, serving on the Annual Meeting Revitalization Task Force, the Annual Meeting Design Team, and guiding the Texas Conservation Alliance from its early days as it became NWF’s Texas state affiliate. These outstanding accomplishments demonstrate Bezanson’s guiding influence as a leading member of the NWF community.
More about Janice http://www.tcatexas.org/about/tca-executive-director/
Congratulations to NWF on 80 Successful Years!
NWF grew out of the first North American Wildlife Conference, convened in 1936 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to a campaign to protect wildlife habitat sparked by prize-winning political cartoonist, J.N. “Ding” Darling. An amazingly-diverse coalition of hunters, anglers, farmers, gardeners, and other outdoor enthusiasts gathered to form a voice for wildlife. In the intervening years, NWF and its state affiliates have led the charge for many conservation successes.
Shortly after it was founded, NWF launched a fight against a poorly-conceived plan to create cropland in Mississippi by draining more than 200,000 acres of crucial waterfowl habitat. It is a tribute to NWF’s persistence that the organization was still in the battle when U.S. officials finally vetoed the plan in 2008 – more than 70 years later.
NWF continues to defend wetlands today – supporting the Clean Water Act rule to restore protection to millions of acres of marshland and 60% of the country’s stream miles, campaigning to restore wetlands in southern Louisiana, and filing suit against a project that would reduce habitat in Nebraska for sandhill cranes. NWF pushes for land acquisition for national refuges, conducts initiatives to help wildlife adapt to climate change, and leads a highly-visible campaign to protect monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
In 1997, Texas Conservation Alliance became the Texas state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. Since then we have worked closely with the NWF regional office in Austin on numerous initiatives to protect wildlife and water resources. Our heartiest congratulations to NWF on celebrating its 80th Anniversary!