Governor Ducey Appoints Leland “Bill” Brake to Arizona Game and Fish Commission

Source:  Press Release – Arizona Game and Fish Department,  January 24, 2018

Gov. Doug Ducey recently announced the appointment of Leland S. “Bill” Brake of Elgin, Arizona, as a member of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. An avid wildlife enthusiast, Mr. Brake has promoted activities with various wildlife groups in coordination with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to encourage involvement of youth and women in wildlife programs. Mr. Brake has owned and operated ranches in Gila, Navajo, Greenlee and (presently) Santa Cruz counties for 50 years and has served as past president and current board member of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, chairing its Wildlife Committee.

Mr. Brake  has served as an agriculture consultant for DuPont Agriculture, which brings innovative science and solutions to meet the challenges faced by farmers. He has also served as chief operating officer and president for distribution of heavy fuels and asphalt for HollyFrontier, which manufactures and markets a variety of asphalt-related products to private sector customers and government agencies.

Mr. Brake is active in the community. He is a board member and current chair of the Advisory Committee for the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources (Wildlife and Range Management). He is also a board member and current chair of the Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) for the Bureau of Land Management for Arizona, and is a board member and advisory committee member for the Audubon Society Ranch in Sonoita, Ariz.

He has served as past chairman and board member for the Arizona Rock Products Association, past board member of Associated General Contractors of Arizona, and is a member of the Natural Resource Conservation District (NRCD). He is also a supporter and past member of Safari Club International and is president of the Phoenix Chapter of the University of Arizona Alumni Association. He is a longtime member of the Society of Range Management, Arizona Chapter, and is a lifetime member and past president of the Maricopa Mounted Sheriff Posse. Mr. Brake earned a Bachelor of Science in Range Management, with a minor in Wildlife Management, from the University of Arizona.

Arizona Game and Fish Commission Honors Conservationists at Awards Banquet

Source:  Arizona Game and Fish Department Press Release – January 19, 2018

Nineteen individuals and organizations were honored at the annual Arizona Game and Fish Commission Awards Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix. The awards recognize Arizonans who have contributed significantly to the conservation of the state’s wildlife, its outdoor heritage, and the mission of the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Among those honored were Gov. Doug Ducey for State Advocate of the Year (the award was accepted on behalf of the governor by Natural Resources Policy Advisor Hunter Moore); Sen. Jeff Flake for Federal Advocate of the Year; 3TV Meteorologist Kim Quintero (one of two winners of Media of the Year); and Elizabeth (Beth) Woodin, who 

Members of the Alliance accepting the Award on behalf of Beth Woodin

served on the Arizona Game and Fish Commission in the 1990’s and was president of the Arizona Heritage Alliance. Ms. Woodin sadly passed away last week and was awarded posthumously.

The complete list of award winners is:

  • Award of Excellence: Lake Havasu Marine Association
  • Award of Excellence: Elizabeth Woodin
  • Youth Environmentalist of the Year: Chase Godbehere
  • Media of the Year: Kim Quintero   
  • Media of the Year: National Veterans Magazine
  • Conservation Organization of the Year: Phoenix Varmint Callers, Inc.
  • Conservationist of the Year: Clyde Weakley
  • Natural Resource Professional of the Year: Erica Stewart
  • Volunteer of the Year: Ron Adams
  • Educator of the Year: Michael Eilertsen
  • Mentor of the Year: Justin Stewart
  • Advocate of the Year – State: Gov. Doug Ducey;
  • Advocate of the Year – Federal: Sen. Jeff Flake
  • Business Partner of the Year: OneAZ Credit Union
  • Buck Appleby Hunter Education Instructor of the Year: John and Linda Vedo
  • Wildlife Habitat Steward of the Year: Double O Ranch 
  • North American Model Commissioners Award: Luke Thompson
  • Chairman’s Award: Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club​​​​​​​

Beth Woodin, Past President of the Alliance and Longtime Arizona Conservation Activist

Source:  Tony Davis, Arizona Daily Star – January 17, 2018

When the state bought 1,400 acres near Patagonia 14 years ago, the wetland home of a major endangered fish population was saved from the bulldozer. Beth Woodin was a driving force in creating the Arizona Heritage Fund that supplies money for such purchases.

Woodin died last week at her Sabino Creek home at age 71. She spent at least 40 years fighting to save wildlands like that acreage around Coal Mine Spring, home to the endangered Gila topminnow but until then a likely subdivision site. Woodin, a native New Yorker, lived along Sabino Creek since the 1970s with her husband, William Woodin, an early Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum director.

Beth Woodin, President of the Arizona Heritage Alliance, (c)2010 Tye R. Farrell

Just before her Jan. 10 death from cancer, Woodin left her nine-year position as board president of the Arizona Heritage Alliance advocacy group. On Saturday, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission gave her an award of excellence, at a Phoenix-area ceremony she had hoped to attend.

“She was one of the most dedicated persons around to doing
wonderful things for wildlife,” said Jim DeVos, a state Game and Fish Department assistant director who knew Woodin for 35 years. “She was always looking for that compromise to move conservation forward. She had her fingers in more conservation projects than anyone I know.”

Woodin was a state Game and Fish commissioner from 1990 to 1995, sat on the Arizona Nature Conservancy’s board in the 1980s and ’90s, and was on the Desert Museum’s board of trustees multiple times. In the 1980s, she was instrumental in persuading the Legislature to create a checkoff program allowing residents to set aside some of their state income taxes for programs benefiting nongame wildlife. The checkoff raised nearly $860,000 in the five fiscal years that ended June 30, 2017, state records show.

In 1990, she was a prime mover for a statewide voter initiative creating the Heritage Fund, which then took $20 million annually from state lottery proceeds for parks and nongame wildlife. Game and Fish has used the fund to buy nearly 18,000 acres of habitat.

Woodin and other fund backers fought at least 30 legislative efforts to divert some of that money, succeeding until the 2007-’08 economist bust. After that, the Legislature swept $10 million annually, which had gone for parks, into the general fund. She and her allies unsuccessfully tried to push through legislation to restore the parks fund.

At the end of her life, Woodin was plotting another run at restoring the Heritage Fund for parks, said Janice Miano, the heritage alliance’s board president. “She never gave up. She always had a plan.”

Woodin is survived by her husband; four stepsons; a sister, Jill Burkett, of Northern California; and eight grandchildren. Services will likely be held in the spring.

Welcome New Board Member – Bryan Martyn

Bryan Martyn grew up in Tempe and attended McClintock High School where he was active in student government and was a varsity athlete in baseball and football. He later earned a baseball scholarship to attend Arizona State University where he majored in Wildlife Biology. Following ASU, Bryan entered the US Army Helicopter Flight Training program where he graduated at the top of his flight class and was selected to fly the AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter. While flying in the Army, Bryan served in Germany, Korea, Texas, and Alabama-completing combat tours in Iraq during Desert Storm and Bosnia. He was later hand-selected for an inter-service transfer from the Army to the United States Air Force to fly Special Operations helicopters. While flying in the USAF, Bryan served in New Mexico, England, and Arizona-completing multiple combat tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. Bryan retired after more than 20 years of military service. Shortly following his retirement, Bryan was elected as a County Supervisor in Pinal County. While serving as a County Supervisor, he was hired by the Arizona State Parks Board to serve as the Executive Director of Arizona State Parks. Bryan today owns a small consulting company with offices in Phoenix and Washington, DC. His firm focuses on veteran, military, environmental, and government policy issues.