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DWR director receives award

Jim Karpowitz, director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, recently received the prestigious Phillip W. Schneider Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jim Karpowitz

Jim Karpowitz was honored recently for his work to help Utah's wildlife. Karpowitz serves as director of the DWR.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources photo

The award is the highest honor bestowed by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies on one of its members.

"Jim frequently refers to a paper by Jack Ward Thomas, former chief of the U.S. Forest Service, when talking to our employees about what it means to be a wildlife professional," DWR assistant directors Alan Clark and Cindee Jensen wrote in Karpowitz's nomination letter.

"A wildlife professional is more than just a person in a wildlife job," they wrote. "That paper, titled 'Effectiveness—The Hallmark of the Natural Resource Professional,' makes the point that the measure of success for a wildlife professional is demonstrated effectiveness in achieving objectives.

"By that measure, or any other you could name, Jim Kapowitz is a wildlife professional."

The following are among Karpowitz's many accomplishments during his 33 years with the DWR:

  • Pioneering wildlife capture techniques in Utah, including the use of net guns to capture bighorn sheep, bison and other big game animals.
  • Writing Utah's first statewide management plans for moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats.
  • Development of a nationally recognized bighorn sheep restoration and management program.
  • Using broad public input to revise Utah's mule deer and elk management plans.
  • Expanding Utah's fish hatchery and community fishing programs

"Despite all of these accomplishments and more," Clark and Jensen wrote, "the flagship success of Jim's administration has been the Watershed Restoration Initiative.

"Under Jim's leadership, the division and a number of partners have restored or improved over 600,000 acres of high priority wildlife habitat in the last six years, a record unmatched in the state's history.

"Throughout his time as director, Jim has focused on building partnerships with the many wildlife groups in Utah "

A resident of Riverton, Karpowitz joined the DWR in 1979. He was named the agency's director in 2005.

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