A hunter, angler and businessman, Morrie Stevens Sr. of Saginaw, Mich., has been elected president of America's first conservation organization, the Boone and Crockett Club.
For over 127 years, Club members have helped shape the scientific, educational, political, economic, social, technological and environmental forces affecting natural resource conservation.
As the Clubs 31st president, Stevens follows the tenure of Bill Demmer of Lansing, Mich.
Stevens is chairman and CEO of Stevens Worldwide Van Lines headquartered in Saginaw. He is also involved in other nonprofit boards and is a member of Trout Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, Quality Deer Management, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ruffed Grouse Society and the NRA.
"As a lifelong hunter-conservationist, Morrie has served the Club tirelessly in multiple capacities," said outgoing president Demmer. "Morrie was instrumental in guiding the development of our conservation education programs and will be a powerful force continuing the Club's legacy in wildlife conservation at the local, regional and national level."
Before being elected president, Stevens served in various Club officer positions, most recently as executive vice president of conservation, which directs the Club's endowed university professorship and research fellowship programs across the country. Being a graduate of Michigan State University, Stevens worked with other Club members in establishing the MSU Boone and Crockett endowed chair of wildlife conservation, which now will become the Michigan State University Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center.
Stevens said, "Preserving our American hunting heritage is something very personal to me. I grew up on a farm in rural Michigan on the Tittabawassee River, where at an early age I enjoyed hunting, fishing and trapping in the '50s. What I learned being outdoors has served me well. Today we simply have too many obstacles for our kids to be outdoors, and something very special will be lost if we can't remove these barriers. Of greatest concern is who will be our future conservationists? Our wildlife and the habitats that support them will need all the advocates they can get. Personal experiences in the outdoors are therefore foundational to future wildlife conservation efforts."
He added, "Equally important is the focus of scientific management to supersede the more recent trends of judicial management. This begins with educating the next generation of conservation leaders. We also need to continually promote the shared use of public lands and promote good stewardship of private lands. There will need to be an increased level of collaboration of like-minded groups and innovative policies to address these challenges."
Stevens concluded, "I can assure you the Boone and Crockett Club will do its part. We will maintain the Club's historic legacy of thought leadership in promoting good government policy as it relates to wild game and its habitat, and sportsmen's access to these resources. We will continue to seek and distribute new knowledge to guide critical decisions. We will also continue to educate the public and help them understand the historic role and contributions of the hunting and angling community in promoting and funding conservation of our wildlife and public lands for everyone's enjoyment."
In addition to the B&C university program at Michigan State, similar programs are established at the University of Montana, Texas A&M and research fellowships at Texas A&M Kingsville, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point and Oregon State University.