There are just a few weeks remaining until the 21st Annual Arizona Game and Fish Commission Awards Banquet, and there’s no better time than now to make your reservations. The banquet will be held on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at the Carefree Resort & Conference Center, 37220 Mule Train Road, Carefree, AZ 85377.

The event honors recipients of the 2012 Commission Awards selected during the commission’s September 7-8, 2012 meeting (see list of recipients, below). The awards recognize Arizonans who have contributed significantly to the conservation of the state’s wildlife, its outdoor heritage, and the mission of the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by dinner and the awards ceremony. The cost is $55 per person. The RSVP registration form is available for download online at

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission held its first annual awards banquet in 1991. Since then, more than 300 awards have been presented by the commission. The banquet has become an annual tradition during which individuals and organizations are recognized for their contributions to Arizona’s wildlife resources.

All costs associated with the awards banquet, including the complimentary tickets for award recipients and their spouses or immediate family members, are paid for by ticket sales and sponsorship donations. Award table sponsorships for organizations are available for $550 and include a table in the organization’s name, logo advertisement in the event program, recognition in the introductory PowerPoint presentation and event press release, and four banquet tickets for the organization. The Sponsorship Package Information and Form is available online at

2012 Award Recipients

  • Award of Excellence: Freeport McMoran Division of Environmental Technology
  • Award of Excellence: Jeffrey Smythe
  • Youth Environmentalist of the Year: Daniella LaPlante
  • Outdoor Writer of the Year: David Brown
  • Media of the Year: Don McDowell
  • Conservation Organization of the Year: Arizona Elk Society
  • Conservationist of the Year: Glen Dickens
  • Natural Resource Professional of the Year: Chris Parish
  • Volunteer of the Year: Tom Slaughter
  • Educator of the Year: Aaron Anderson
  • Mentor of the Year: Don Martin
  • Advocate of the Year: Representative Amanda Reeve
  • License Dealer of the Year: ALCO, Chino Valley Store
  • Buck Appleby Hunter Education Instructor of the Year: Hank Schucking
  • Wildlife Habitat Steward of the Year: Dan Bell

Image courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department

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