At the recent Annual Meeting of the Washington Chapter of the Wildlife Society, our own Landowner Assistance Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Ken Bevis, received the Wildlife Society’s Partnership Award. The Partnership Award recognizes an outstanding accomplishment by a person or organization for working with and establishing partnerships that otherwise would not have existed or functioned as well without their initiative, and which has resulted in significant advancement of wildlife conservation.
Ken has forged a strong partnership with staff working in the Firewise and Forest Health Cost Share programs here at DNR. He has been able to show that creating defensible space around homes, improving the health of a landowner’s forest, as well as creating valuable wildlife habitat can all be mutually accomplished at the same time.
In the past, the notion of maintaining small brush patches, protecting large woody debris or creating forest openings were not part of the management prescriptions for maintaining defensible space or improving forest health. In fact, most staff believed that these habitat features needed to be removed. But Ken’s ability to show staff that these important habitat components can be maintained at the same time, and still provide the defensible space and forest health benefits has opened the eyes and the minds of many DNR staff. Ken now works in close collaboration with Firewise Foresters and forest health foresters on a regular basis. They are regularly co-presenters at a number of workshops, field events, and educational courses throughout the state.
Ken is an experienced naturalist and biologist with over 26 years of technical fish and wildlife management experience. Ken also works very closely with WSU Extension foresters on a number of educational events such as Coached Planning Courses, Forest Health Workshops, Forest Owner’s Field Days, and many other educational venues. One of Ken’s strongest assets is his communication skills. Ken is an award winning communicator and has a keen interest in listening to landowner’s needs and interests and taking that information and applying it appropriately. He is an accomplished public speaker and has outstanding interpersonal communication skills. He is extremely effective in relationship building with both internal and external staff, stakeholders, and is highly regarded for his professionalism among his co-workers and colleagues.
The inter-program partnerships that Ken has fostered within DNR, combined with the many external partnerships he’s built over the years, made him an exceptional choice for the Washington Wildlife Society’s Partnership Award. The Small Forest Landowner Office and the Forest Stewardship Program are very lucky to have Ken on our team. Congratulations Ken!
By Tami Miketa, Manager of the Small Forest Landowner Office