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TPWD News Release — July 5, 2005

Fitzsimons Receives TWA Friend of Wildlife Award

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Chairman Joseph B.C. Fitzsimons received the Friend of Wildlife Award from the Texas Wildlife Association on June 25 at the association's annual conference.

Since 1996, the TWA Friend of Wildlife award has been given in most years to someone who had over-riding influence in on-the-ground wildlife habitat conservation in the state.

"With Fitzsimons' longstanding record on private land conservation and his extensive work in the policy arena, he was long overdue to be given this award," said Neal Wilkins, TWA vice president and associate department head for wildlife and fisheries extension at Texas A&M University. "This is an award that is not given every year, and it's very hard to get. We receive numerous nominations every year, but the voting structure requires nearly unanimous agreement. It's recognition from the largest wildlife organization in the state of Chairman Fitzsimons' work in land stewardship and conservation."

"Chairman Fitzsimons has been a champion of private land stewardship and our Texas hunting heritage," said Kirby Brown, TWA executive vice president. "His philosophy matches the profile of our TWA members. We appreciate, respect and honor him with this award. TWA Friend of Wildlife Award recognizes people who really stepped forward both in their own stewardship but also in outreach to others to expand the philosophy of good land management and good habitat management for wildlife."

Fitzsimons of San Antonio is an attorney and rancher with a long interest in wildlife and the outdoors. He is chairman of the nine-member commission appointed by the governor to oversee the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.