LINCOLN, Nebraska — Nebraska Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas was honored Wednesday for his contributions to the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Nebraska.
Douglas was presented the Golden Pillar Award, a tradition started by the research unit’s scientists in 2010. The award honors and recognizes outstanding individuals who are “pillars of support” or essential to the success of the unit.
As a token of their appreciation, Douglas also was presented with a detailed carving of a curlew standing on driftwood, created by Don Gabelhouse, retired Game and Parks fisheries division administrator.
“Though support of our unit is provided by an army of individuals, there are a select few supporters that go well beyond the call of duty,” said Kevin Pope, the research unit director based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Jim has worked endlessly to ensure our continued success and national impact.”
“You have gone way out of your way behind the scenes to make sure the co-op unit is included in conversations and has a seat at the conservation table,” he added. “We appreciate your support all of these years.”
Douglas, who has worked at Game and Parks for 47 years and will retire this November after nine years as agency director, supported the creation of the research unit in 2004. The unit is a collaborative effort among several federal and state agencies, including the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; the University of Nebraska; and the Wildlife Management Institute. Its goal is to conduct useful research for natural resources management and to train the next generation of scientific research leaders.
“I want to thank the cooperative unit for this honor,” Douglas said. “Part and parcel, this co-op unit is one of the best in conservation in the nation. Your future is bright. No one is doing it better than here at the Nebraska co-op unit, and that is due to the leadership and the culture of the unit.”
Golden Pillar Award recipients are recognized during the annual research unit meeting, which occurred virtually Sept. 8. Previous Golden Pillar Awards winners include Kirk Nelson, John Owens, and Steve Riley, each in 2010; Valerie Egger in 2015; and Don Gabelhouse and Scott Taylor in 2016.