Tanya Haskell – (603) 271-3511
Nicola Whitley – (603) 271-3211
August 11, 2021
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission has honored several individuals with the 2020 Commission Awards of Excellence for outstanding efforts in the conservation field in support of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s mission.
The 2020 Commission Awards of Excellence were as follows:
VOLUNTEER AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Scott Biron, New London, NH
Biron has an extensive history of volunteering and helping New Hampshire Fish and Game over many years. He has worked with the Let’s Go Fishing Program for 6 years helping to teach people how to fish, he is on the Board of Directors for New Hampshire Operation Game Thief, he is Past Executive Director of the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation, and has been a volunteer at NH Fish and Game’s Barry Conservation Camp, which is run by 4H and the University of New Hampshire, helping with the fishing week. He is also a frequent contributor to the Department’s New Hampshire Wildlife Journal.
Nominated by Major Dave Walsh, Biron is also a renowned fly tyer and fly tying instructor throughout New Hampshire, never hesitating to help out when asked. According to Walsh, “Scott works closely with NH Fish and Game Law Enforcement as a Director with NH Operation Game Thief and has breathed new life into OGT. He is always striving to come up with new ways to raise funds for rewards as well as ways to assist our Conservation Officers in their job to fight poaching.”
VOLUNTEER AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Mark Parmenter, Somersworth, NH
A Let’s Go Fishing Program instructor for the past 14 years, Parmenter has set new standards for instructors and gone above and beyond by providing instructor training and mentorship. Over 7 years ago he stepped in and developed a mentoring program for LGF instructors. He established clear expectations for the new instructors and matched them with veteran instructors. The new program has been very successful. Parmenter has also helped coordinate Gear Repair Day where all of the fishing equipment is inspected and repaired. Each year he heads up the spin fishing repairs by forming a team of volunteers who work one entire Saturday to accomplish this.
For the past 14 years, Parmenter has also volunteered as an instructor at Barry Conservation Camp’s Fish Camp week. He has overseen the activities and every year 40+ campers walk away with knowledge on how to tie knots, be an ethical angler, catch and release fish, and more. Nominated by Scott Biron, who said of Parmenter, “Often when I leave a program or leave camp the first call I get is from Mark asking if I have ideas to make what we did better. Mark is what every program wants in a volunteer.”
COMMUNICATION AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Gary Moore, Bradford, VT
Gary Moore is a prolific outdoor writer who has written a weekly column championing New Hampshire and Vermont’s natural world for 44 years. He also contributes to regional outdoor magazines. He is a life member, past president, and director emeritus of the New England Outdoor Writers Association, a board member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, a member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada, and a member of the New England Travel Writers Network. He is a
Frequent speaker at Fish and Game Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, and Lions Clubs in the twin states on hunting, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities which he is passionate about.
Moore also served on the Vermont Fish and Game Board in the late 1970s and was Vermont Commissioner of Fish and Game in the early 1980s. He understands the issues and writes about them in a way that readers can appreciate. He is a strong supporter of scientific game management and sound forestry practices as well as conservation law enforcement.
ELLIS R. HATCH JR. COMMISSION AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Ritchie White, Rye, NH
Ritchie White has been an active saltwater angler for over 40 years. As a result of his passions, White has been actively involved in fisheries and wildlife policy since the 1990s. He spent 13 years as the Coastal Commissioner for the NH Fish and Game Commission, he has been a 20-year Governor’s appointee to the New Hampshire Advisory Committee on Marine Fisheries, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of Ducks Unlimited, the American Bluefin Tuna Association, and was also a founding member of the Coastal Conservation Association of New Hampshire and a board member since its inception. Since 2004, White has also been the Coordinator of NH’s Revolving Loan Fund which provides low-interest loans for New Hampshire’s commercial fishing industry.
White has also been involved with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission since the 1990s where he began as New Hampshire’s representative to the Striped Bass Advisory Panel. He has served for 21 years as an ASMFC Commissioner. He is also a strong supporter of clean water, taking an active role in advocating for reductions in point sources of nitrogen at treatment plants as well as educating the public regarding ways they can reduce non-point-source nitrogen pollution. He is also a founding member of Rescue Great Bay, which promotes the importance of clean water in estuarine habitats and its importance to the marine resources that utilize it. White also advocated for passage of the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act, which seeks to support and encourage the development, implementation, and enforcement of effective interstate conservation and management of Atlantic coastal fishery resources.
Nominated by Fish and Game Commissioner Paul McInnis, Marine Division Chief Cheri Patterson, and NH Port Authority Director Geno Marconi who said of White, “New Hampshire Fish and Game has been very fortunate to have such an active and staunch supporter of New Hampshire’s natural resources and habitats and the constituency that utilize the natural resources with his understanding of the fishing community, the science and policy of management, and the fortitude to continue to represent New Hampshire on so many levels.”
There are eight award categories for New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission Awards of Excellence for 2021. If you are aware of a worthy individual or organization, please consider nominating them for the 2021 awards. Nominations must be submitted by December 31. For a description of the award categories and a nomination form or to see past winners, visit https://wildlife.state.nh.us/about/commission-awards.html.