The Herbert W. Kale, II Award
Nomination statement for Mr. Manley K. Fuller, recipient of the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society's 2007 Herbert W. Kale, II Award:
Mr. Manley K. Fuller has served as President of the Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) since 1987, and is also a registered lobbyist with both the Florida Legislature and the executive branch of state government working on behalf of FWF. Previously, Mr. Fuller served five years with the National Wildlife Federation as a Wetlands and Wildlife Specialist in their Southeastern Natural Resources Center working on wetlands conservation programs, primarily in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.
Mr. Fuller graduated from Duke University in 1974 majoring in zoology and history and graduated from North Carolina State University with a Master's Degree in Wildlife Biology in 1981. Mr. Fuller conducted graduate research on American alligators in coastal North Carolina, and his graduate work also emphasized plant ecology and taxonomy. Mr. Fuller participated in mapping of peat deposits of coastal North Carolina with the University of North Carolina Department of Geology. In addition, Mr. Fuller participated in the Organization for Tropical Studies' Tropical Biology Course in Costa Rica and was a Conservation Intern with National Wildlife Federation's Fish & Wildlife Team in Washington, D.C., while in graduate school.
Mr. Fuller has served as a member of both the Cross Florida Greenway Commission and the Florida Greenways Commission. Since 1986, Mr. Fuller has attended and participated in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Crocodile Specialist Group meetings and field trips in Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Mr. Fuller has been a volunteer assistant for field biologists conducting research with jaguars in Belize, gray wolves in Northern Minnesota and black bears in North Carolina, and has conducted census work with American crocodiles and spectacled caiman on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica.
The Nature Conservancy and the United States Forest Service jointly awarded Mr. Fuller a Conservation Certificate for his work in adding significant conservation lands to Florida's national forests. Mr. Fuller received the 2002 Florida Springs Protection Award from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Task Force for his work on behalf of Wakulla Springs.
Under Mr. Fuller's direct involvement and leadership, the Florida Wildlife Federation has made the following significant achievements for Florida's wildlife and important wildlife habitat:
• Mercury Pollution Awareness and Reduction – FWF co-sponsored NWF's Southeastern Angler Summit on Mercury Pollution Summit in Tallahassee in July 2004 for 30 activists from Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. FWF also reviewed and assisted with the writing of the “Cycle of Harm” report primarily through the efforts of Dr. Paul Parks.
• Pinhook Swamp Land Acquisitions – FWF collaborated with NWF in securing federal funds for the purchase of critical wildlife habitat and corridor land in partnership with the Pinhook/Osceola/Greater Okefenokee (POGO) Coalition. FWF acts as the host organization for the POGO Coalition and was actively engaged in one of the nation's largest federal state land exchanges, adding over 20,000 acres to the Osceola National Forest.
• NWF Backyard & Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat Certifications – FWF actively promotes these programs, and Florida now has 3,167 certified Backyard Habitats and 7 certified Schoolyard Habitats. The FWF is second only to South Carolina in the number of NWF certified Backyard Habitats.
• FWF/NWF Lake Okeechobee Snail Kite Litigation – FWF and NWF have collaborated to submit a 60 day notice letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers stating that federal oversight of water levels on Lake Okeechobee are violating the Endangered Species Act. A federal lawsuit will be initiated failing remedial action on the part of the Corps of Engineers. This legal action will help the Lake and Florida's east and west coast estuaries which are being seriously degraded.
• Wildlife Conservation Funding/State Wildlife Grants – FWF members have lobbied Congress consistently on behalf of federal aid to state wildlife programs for the past five years partnering with the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on this effort.
• Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – FWF played a key role in NWF's campaign to educate freshman Republican Senator Mel Martinez regarding the need to protect the Arctic and Florida's Gulf Coast from oil drilling.
• Florida Panther Restoration – In 2003, NWF & FWF filed a federal lawsuit which challenged the US Fish & Wildlife Service's (FWS) and the US Army Corps of Engineers' approval of a permit that would have allowed Florida Rock Industries, Inc. to destroy more than 5,000 acres of priority panther habitat while leaving a small area of 800 acres for panthers. FWS acknowledged that at least 8 panthers have been found on or near the project site, representing approximately 10% of the entire south Florida population. NWF & FWF won the case.
• Florida Panther & Wildlife Crossing Strategy for Eastern Collier County – NWF & FWF have initiated a study to identify a system of road crossings that, together with habitat protections, will allow panthers and other wildlife to survive in a rapidly developing region. Road kills are a leading cause of panther mortality.
• Key Deer – FWF has participated with NWF in a series of legal actions on behalf of the endangered Key Deer in federal court and with other organizations in state court.
• Marine Turtles – FWF has pursued a series of legal actions to reduce the killing of marine turtles by requiring turtle and finfish excluders on shrimp trawls and has challenged long lining as an indiscriminate killer of marine life, including marine turtles.
The Florida Wildlife Federation has provided statewide leadership in the following areas:
• Florida Forever State Acquisition of sensitive habitat – FWF worked collaboratively with conservation allies to establish the largest state land acquisition program in the country and continues to fight for continued and increased appropriations. FWF and partners are laying the groundwork for a successor program to Florida Forever. FWF has helped to piece together significant land purchases to protect wildlife corridors for the protection of the Florida black bear in North Florida and the Florida panther in Southwest Florida. This program helps to assure the future of outdoor recreation including hunting and fishing in the Sunshine State.
• Everglades Restoration – FWF continues to advocate for environmental rehabilitation of the Everglades Agricultural Area, a vast expanse of farmlands south of Lake Okeechobee. Within this area are water treatment areas critical to the restoration of the Everglades.
• Challenge to Scripps development in Palm Beach County – FWF has legally challenged the proposed Scripps development location in an undeveloped area of the historic Everglades watershed. This development would significantly undermine the $8 billion effort to save the Everglades. FWF does not oppose Scripps but opposes the location which would degrade habitat and promote sprawl.
• Southwest Florida Office – With the effective work of Nancy Payton, FWF's Southwest Florida Field Representative, FWF has been involved in innovative growth management decisions in Collier and Lee counties. Last year, FWF was successful in defending Collier's rural growth stewardship plan from those who were seeking to develop and mine protected areas, and supported additional incentives to landowners who enhance wildlife habitat on their properties.
• New FWF Northeast Office – With charitable foundation and member financial support, FWF last year established an office/advocate in this fastest growing part of the state. Sarah Owen, who has a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning, has provided leadership in protecting wetlands and wetland buffer zones, and helped stop a road from being built through the middle of the Black Creek Ravines Conservation Area, a sensitive wildlife habitat and corridor.
• Protecting Florida's Springs – Florida's once crystal clear springs are becoming increasingly polluted by encroaching development. FWF has led the fight to protect one of the State's largest and most cherished springs, Wakulla Springs, located south of Tallahassee. Through this effort, FWF has recognized the need for a statewide alliance of groups working to protect springs, and has committed to forming this alliance. Clean springs are essential to protect Florida's drinking water, wildlife and sea life.
• Florida's Hunting Summit – FWF is a sponsoring organization for this state summit which will address the future of hunting. FWF will emphasize the critical role hunters play in the conservation of Florida's wildlife habitat which is under constant pressure from growth and new roads and highways that lead to fragmentation.
• Saving Northwest Florida – With Florida's largest landowner, St. Joe Company, rapidly developing Florida's wild lands, FWF has been working to identify and protect wildlife corridors from roads and housing developments by promoting land acquisition of critical areas by the state, assisting in placing conservation easements on privately owned lands to support wildlife, and planning for conservation buffers. FWF is advocating for other initiatives to guide inevitable development so that it protects Northwest Florida's precious natural resources.
• Opposition to a dam on the Yellow River – FWF has been a leading opponent of building a dam on the Yellow River in Northwest Florida which would block sturgeon migration and flood 10,000 acres of conservation and hunting lands.
• Ocklawaha River Restoration – For at least 30 years the FWF has been working to restore one of its state treasures which has been blocked by the Rodman Dam.
• Big Cypress National Preserve and Addition Lands – Beginning in the 1970's the FWF worked on behalf of establishment of the Big Cypress National Preserve and in the late 1980's with the expansion of the Preserve. The Preserve totals over 500,000 acres of fish and wildlife habitat and provides hunting and fishing opportunities in rapidly growing southern Florida. The Federation is working to open up the 175,000 acres of the Preserve's additional lands to resource based outdoor recreation including hunting as required by the enabling legislation.
• Florida Circumnavigation Saltwater Paddling Trail – FWF has partnered with the State's Department of Environmental Protection to identify, map and develop a paddling trail around the state along the coast from Pensacola to Amelia Island. Two FWF staff members are directly involved in the hands-on work of developing and mapping the trail. This project will enhance the public's appreciation of our remaining “wild” coastal places, even through urban communities.