Fernando Gutierrez Named James “Randy” Fugate Memorial Wildlife Division Professional of the Year

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AUSTIN — Fernando Gutierrez, wildlife technician at Kerr Wildlife Management Area (WMA), is recipient of the 2024 James “Randy” Fugate Memorial Wildlife Division Professional of the Year Award.

The award was established in 2021 and recognizes a staff member who demonstrates a positive attitude toward all aspects of their position, has an ability to provide high-quality customer service, demonstrates the capacity to build trusting relationships and consistently exceeds expectations regarding their work within the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).

“The combined skills of caring for our natural resources and people alike are an outstanding representation of the trust [Gutierrez] captures and the positive attitude he emanates,” said John Silovsky, TPWD Wildlife Division Director. “His network has grown beyond the landowner, visitor or current colleague to a place of family.”

Gutierrez joined the Wildlife Division in January 1993 at the Kerr WMA and has faithfully served in his role as a wildlife technician for more than 30 years, supporting each project and research effort with an appetite for knowledge and unwavering support for the TPWD mission and the role of the Kerr WMA.

Like the award’s namesake, Gutierrez knows no strangers and represents his projects and TPWD in an outgoing manner, always welcoming the opportunity for engagement. He is often sought out by neighbors, landowners, hunters and many visitors. In doing so, he has taken on additional duties and provides technical guidance for several landowners in Kerr County with habitat recommendations, surveys and deer population management strategies. This is rare and special attribute for a wildlife technician to have and a valued contribution he makes as a division representative above and beyond expectations.

Gutierrez’s attitude is service oriented, and he has positively influenced past, present and future generations of Wildlife Division employees. His past travels and job duties have spanned from the construction of the bison pens in North Texas to pronghorn and bighorn captures in North and West Texas to alligator research and mottled duck captures on the Texas coast.

Gutierrez genuinely enjoys working across the state, meeting new people, and assisting in conservation projects and shared interests in science and learning.