Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Venerated Conservationist Bill Stevens Passes

Bill was a great friend of Hunter Education on the State and National level. He was a great guy and will be missed. This from the Wildlife Management Institute:

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Image of Bill StevensOn Sunday, July 3, cancer claimed Bill Stevens, 72, friend of conservation and friend of thousands.
For 42 years, Bill served Federal Cartridge Company of Anoka, Minnesota.  He retired in 2007 from his post as Federal Premium Ammunition Manager, a capacity in which he tirelessly promoted the hunting and shooting sports and natural resource conservation.  He helped pioneer the 4-H Shooting Sports Program and was instrumental in shaping the conservation outreach and spirit at Federal. Bill leveraged his energy, forever upbeat nature, enthusiasm and Federal’s largess to gain tremendous support throughout North America for the shooting sports industry.
Gary Svendson, Director of Quality and Technical Service for ATK Security and Sporting Group, which includes Federal, stated:  “When I joined Federal in 1973, I wasn’t fully aware of the impact Bill had on the shooting sports industry and on people in general.  As time went on, I realized what a true giant he was.” 
“Countless youth programs and national outdoor organizations owe their start up and success to Bill’s encouragement and support,” said Dick McCabe, Vice President of the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI).  “It seems he knew everyone, and I have never met anyone who didn’t claim him as a friend.  He was a terrific outdoorsman and a delightful guy to share time and adventure in the field.”
Dennis Anderson, writer for the Minneapolis StarTribune, penned, “During Bill’s career, the shooting sports industry underwent seismic shifts, especially in the early 1990s when the federal government required non-toxic shot to replace lead shot for waterfowl hunting.  Through that process, and introductions of steel, tungsten, tungsten-iron and tungsten-polymer in shot, Bill was the face not only of Federal, but one of the go-to guys in the industry as it struggled to maintain profitability while helping hunters to adapt to the new ammunition.”
Said Kyle Tengwall, Federal’s Marketing and Communications Vice President, “ Anyone who ever met Bill knows how much he will be missed…he brought a contagious enthusiasm and passion for work, family, industry and the outdoors.”
Bill received numerous accolades and honors during his career, for his dedication to shooting sports education and conservation, not least of which were Field & Stream’s 2007 Heroes of Conservation Lifetime Achievement Award and WMI’s first-ever (2000) George Bird Grinnell Award for Distinguished Service to Natural Resource Management.
Bill Stevens is survived by his wife Nila, son Andrew and brother John.  His conservation legacy will outlive all of us.

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