Wadsworth awarded AWF’s Land Conservationist of the Year

Published 2:20 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Alabama Wildlife Federation has awarded James “Jim” Wadsworth of Clanton the Land Conservationist of the Year Award.

While he was surprised by the award, Wadsworth said it was “quite an honor.”

Wadsworth said he was nominated by the Nature Conservancy for his work with the organization and with other land conservation programs, such as Forever Wild.

“My efforts were multiplied by working with these groups,” Wadsworth said.

The award was presented at the 2018 Alabama Wildlife Federation Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards banquet, which co-sponsored by Alabama Power Company and PowerSouth Energy.

Gov. Kay Ivey joined the festivities.

Wadsworth has served with The Nature Conservancy since 1996, according to an AWF press release.

He has been a part of a number of conservation efforts and projects.

“Jim has donated a conservation easement along the Cahaba River, worked with the Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center to re-introduce the Coosa Moccasinshell mussel, and assisted with Montane longleaf pine restoration on the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge. Ultimately, he has helped conserve more than 165,000 acres of ecologically sensitive lands across the state,” the release states. “Jim supports organizations in Alabama that do important conservation work, while significantly contributing his time, money, and passion, to the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems of Alabama’s unique landscape.”

His conservation efforts stem from a love for the outdoors.

Growing up in Tuskegee, Wadsworth worked and played on his parent’s farm. When he moved to Clanton, the Nature Conservancy was in its infancy, and he became a member.

He said the diversity and beauty of Alabama is not something that should be taken for granted.

“We have more natural resources than most states,” Wadsworth said. ” We just need to take care of them and be good stewards.”

“The GCAA was created to promote leadership by example and in turn increase conservation of the natural resources in the state of Alabama including its wildlife, forests, soils, water and air,” the release states. “The program is designed to bring about a greater knowledge and awareness of conservation practices and projects and to give proper recognition to those persons and organizations that make outstanding contributions to the natural resource welfare of their community and state.”

According to a press release for AWF, “The AWF Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards (GCAA) are the most respected conservation honors in the state of Alabama. Over the past 45 years, AWF has presented these awards to individuals and organizations that make great contributions to the conservation of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources.”