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Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release: February 7, 2014

Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov


Curtis Taylor, Wildlife Resources Section Chief 304-558-2771 DNR.Wildlife@wv.gov


SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Richard (Rick) Hartzell, Wildlife Manager for the Little River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on the Monongahela National Forest in Pocahontas County, was recently selected by the West Virginia State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) as its Wildlife Manager of the Year. He was presented the NWTF's "Making Tracks Award" at the annual awards banquet on Jan. 11, 2014.

Rick began his career with the West Virginia Division of National Resources (WVDNR) in 1987 at the District 3 office in French Creek, West Virginia. He was involved in conservation education programs, using various wildlife species in presentations to schools and civic groups. In 1988, he accepted his current position as Wildlife Manager on the Little River WMA where he has served for the past 24 years.

Throughout his career, Rick has demonstrated skills and dedication as a professional wildlife manager. He was deeply involved in an important multi-state, wild turkey population dynamics study, which was funded in part by the NWTF. He also participated in the Appalachian Cooperative Grouse Research Project that explored the population dynamics, home range and food habits of ruffed grouse in the central Appalachians.
During his tenure as a wildlife manager on the Little River WMA, Rick worked cooperatively with the U.S. Forest Service in developing and maintaining a series of woodland savannahs and other early-successional-type habitats that have greatly benefitted both game and nongame wildlife species. These habitats are extremely important as brood range for eastern wild turkey populations. He has also worked cooperatively with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, and assisted in their managed deer hunts for the past 20 years.

"Rick's career has been one of service, not just to the WVDNR and U.S. Forest Service, but especially to the sportsmen and women of West Virginia," said Curtis Taylor, Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section. He continues to promote the state's wildlife management programs to area schools and other community and civic organizations.  He also finds time to coach his daughter's sports teams.

"The WVDNR salutes Rick Hartzell for his many accomplishments, and we congratulate him for being selected Wildlife Manager of the Year by the West Virginia State Chapter of the NWTF," said Taylor.