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TPWD News Release — March 23, 2017

Two TPWD Staff Receive National Wild Turkey Federation Awards

AUSTIN— Two Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) staff were recognized by Executive Director Carter Smith as recipients of National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) awards for their outstanding work in various fields at Thursday’s meeting in Austin.

Micah Poteet Recognized by NWTF as Wildlife Manager of the Year

Wildlife biologist Micah Poteet from the Pineywoods region has been awarded this year’s Joe Kurz Wildlife Manager of the Year award by the NWTF for his longstanding and distinguished career in managing the wild turkeys of Texas.

By serving as a technical guidance biologist, Poteet provides insight and direction to other biologists managing close to 14 million acres and 27 East Texas counties about the Pineywoods ecoregion.

He has been involved highly involved in the eastern wild turkey restoration efforts in East Texas and was a key designer of the TPWD’s new Eastern Wild Turkey Habitat Sustainability Index. This new approach incorporates habitat evaluations at multiple scales to identify focal landscapes throughout the region, geographic information system evaluations of proposed turkey release sites and on the ground habitat measurements.

Poteet also took the extra initiative to spearhead research efforts examining the behavior of wild turkeys in relation to the scale and season of fire in Texas. This research was executed this past winter with over 80 eastern wild turkeys marked with very high frequency and GPS transmitters.

Game Warden Dean Fitzpatrick Awarded the NWTF Officer of the Year Award

Game warden Dean Fitzpatrick has been recognized as the recipient of this year’s NWTF Officer of the Year award. Fitzpatrick currently serves TPWD as a lead overt investigator for the criminal investigation division of special operations within the law enforcement division.

Sgt. Fitzpatrick has taken a lead role investigating numerous critical incidents, threats on employees and theft related cases involving department equipment.

A 19 year veteran of the law enforcement division, Fitzpatrick has become a respected and active member of his community. Outside of his roles at TPWD, he spends his free time supporting the local youth baseball program as a coach and league president.