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Ducks Unlimited Canada honours North American conservation leadership

Inductee George Finney (left) and family of the late Harvey Nelson reveal two new plaques to be fastened to the North American Waterfowl Conservation Honour Roll wall at Oak Hammock Marsh Conservation Centre.

Stonewall, Man., September 10, 2012 – Two new plaques will be fastened to the North American Waterfowl Conservation Honour Roll wall this September to celebrate two deserving conservationists. Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is pleased to honour George Finney, President of Bird Studies Canada and the late Harvey Nelson, former Executive Director of the U.S. Office for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Established by DUC, the Honour Roll is an international recognition program for individuals who have made unique and significant contributions to the success of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) in Canada. The NAWMP was established in 1986 by conversation leaders in Canada and the United States and is one of the most successful conservation initiatives in the world. The goal of the NAWMP is restoring and conserving North America’s wetlands and the associated upland habitat for the benefit of waterfowl.

George Finney

George Finney began his 37-year career in conservation as a consulting biologist based in Alberta. His extensive field experience and wildlife knowledge later took him to the Canadian Wildlife Service, where he held several key positions including Chief of the Migratory Birds Program and Director of the Atlantic Region. Currently, Finney is President of Bird Studies Canada, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats in Canada and abroad.

As one of the architects of the NAWMP, Finney was one of six Canadian negotiators assigned to develop the Plan with U.S. officials. His leadership was instrumental in establishing the Plan in Eastern Canada, as well as in developing the Sea Duck Joint Venture. Through his current position with Bird Studies Canada, Finney is focused on integrating the conservation of other water and wetland bird species into the strategic plans of each Joint Venture.

In 1999, Finney received the Prime Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award for his career achievements and leadership abilities.

Harvey Nelson

Harvey Nelson completed an outstanding 41-year career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1992. Beginning in 1950 as a refuge biologist, he proudly and successfully served the organization in a number of roles. As the first Director of the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, North Dakota, Nelson later became the Associate Director for Fish and Wildlife Resources in Washington D.C. and the Regional Director for the North Central Region in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Finally in 1988, he capped off his long and distinguished career with his appointment as the first Executive Director of the U.S. Office for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, a position he held until his retirement.

As the Executive Director for the U.S. Office for the NAWMP, Nelson was an international ambassador of wetland conservation and helped build a solid foundation for the NAWMP by bringing together coalitions of federal, state, private conservation organizations, local groups, and other members of the private sector. Having earned the trust

and respect as a skilled diplomat among his Canadian colleagues, Nelson served as the first Chairman of the Plan Committee. The importance of his steadfast leadership during these initial phases of implementation of the NAWMP cannot be overstated.

Nelson authored numerous scientific publications and was the driving force behind the highly acclaimed book, The Flyways, and brought incredible drive and dedication to the NAWMP.

Both extremely deserving inductees were honoured at a ceremony held at the Oak Hammock Marsh Conservation Centre on September 8, 2012 in Stonewall, Manitoba.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. Learn more at ducks.ca.

For more information, please contact:
Gillian Potvin
National Manager, Media Strategy
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Office: (204) 467-3202
Cell: (204) 792-3678