ST. LOUIS, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- To honor a life spent championing the outdoors, Budweiser and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation today named the late James D. "Jim" Range of Washington, D.C. the 2010 Budweiser Conservationist of the Year. This is the 15th consecutive year the award has been presented to an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the outdoors and wildlife conservation; this year's announcement was made at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas.
Before passing away in early 2009, Range spent his life enhancing the quality of America's hunting and fishing through his tireless commitment to conservation initiatives. His vision for the future of the sport and his ability to inspire a similar enthusiasm in others through his words and actions rallied countless supporters for his conservation missions. Range worked to conserve the Potomac River, establishing the Congressional Casting Call, which later was renamed in his honor. He played a critical role in the passage of several landmark natural resource laws, including the Clean Water Act. In 2003, Jim received the U.S. Department of the Interior's Great Blue Heron Award, the highest honor given by the department to an individual at the national level.
"For the past 15 years, Budweiser has been recognizing leaders in the fields of conservation and wildlife habitat conservation and we are honored to add Jim to our list of distinguished award recipients," said Bob Fishbeck, Budweiser brand manager, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "Jim's passion for the outdoors, tireless leadership and outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation serve as an inspiration to all of us. We're honored to join the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in recognizing Jim and the other finalists participating in our annual Budweiser Conservationist of the Year award program."
Each year, a committee selects four conservationists, 21 or older, as finalists from dozens of outstanding nominees. Budweiser consumers from across the country vote for the Conservationist of the Year in an open ballot process on Budweiser.com.
A $50,000 grant from Budweiser and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will be made in memory of Range to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) to support its conservation efforts.
"On behalf of the family of Jim Range, we want to thank Budweiser and the Foundation for their recognition of Jim's efforts to preserve and protect the notion that all Americans will have access to America's natural resources for future generations for hunting and fishing," said John Neel Range, brother of Jim Range. "Jim was keenly aware that 'we gotta save this thing we love cause ain't nobody else gonna do it.' With this generous award, we can ensure that others will be able to continue his efforts."
A co-founder of the TRCP, Jim held board positions with Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited and the Wetlands America Trust, among others. He was also a White House appointee to the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, and the Valles Caldera Trust.
"Jim spent his entire professional life conserving and enhancing Americans' hunting and fishing opportunities," said TRCP Chairman Jim Martin, conservation director of the Berkley Conservation Institute. "His cumulative efforts stand as a very high benchmark to those of us who care about our outdoor sporting heritage – and the lands and waters on which we pursue these traditions. His ability to inspire passion in others through his words and actions rallied countless supporters around his conservation vision. The TRCP is profoundly honored to have Jim's legacy recognized through his selection as Budweiser Conservationist of the Year."
Previous winners of the Budweiser Conservationist of the Year award include: George Dunklin, Jr. of Stuttgart, Ark. (2009); Lowell E. Baier of Potomac, Md. (2008); G. Richard Mode of Morganton, N.C. (2007); Wendell Berryhill of Cochran, Ga. (2006); Bill Crawford of Frederick, Okla. (2005); Eddie Bridges of Greensboro, N.C. (2004); Sandi Beitzel of Manitowoc, Wis. (2003); Dr. Tommy Thompson of Monroe City, Ind. (2002); Bruce Lewis of Natchez, Miss. (2001); Tory Taylor of Dubois, Wyo. (2000); Gloria Erickson of Holdrege, Neb. (1999); Christine Thomas of Stevens Point, Wis. (1998); Jeff Churan of Chillicothe, Mo. (1997); and Susan Moxley of Vickery, Ohio (1996).
Since Anheuser-Busch was founded in 1852, the company has been committed to supporting the environment and conserving natural resources. In 1995, the leading American brewer bolstered its support by creating the 'Budweiser Outdoors' program. For generations, the company's mission has been to brew, package and ship the freshest, highest quality beer in the world in the most efficient and responsible manner possible.
Throughout the years, the 'Budweiser Outdoors' program has grown to include seven partner organizations – the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Quail Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl Foundation and the Quality Deer Management Association – to promote outdoor sports and wildlife conservation.
A nonprofit organization established by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation sustains, restores and enhances the nation's fish and wildlife. By teaming leadership conservation investments with those of public and private partners, the Foundation maximizes measurable conservation benefits. Since its establishment, the Foundation has awarded 10,800 grants to more than 3,700 organizations in the United States and abroad, while leveraging more than $635 million in federal funds into $1.5 billion for conservation. For more information, visit www.nfwf.org.
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 49.2 percent share of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the world's largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer. Anheuser-Busch ranked No. 1 among beverage companies in FORTUNE Magazine's Most Admired Global Companies list in 2009. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, and continues to operate under the Anheuser-Busch name and logo. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.
SOURCE Anheuser-Busch; National Fish and Wildlife Foundation