Baldes named lifetime achievement award winner from UW Biodiversity

Nov 1, 2015 From staff reports

The award showcases commitment to enhancing knowledge and conservation of biological diversity in Wyoming.

A Fort Washakie man has been honored with a lifetime achievement award from the University of Wyoming's Biodiversity Institute.

Richard Baldes of Fort Washakie will receive the Contributions to Wyoming Biodiversity Conservation Award, which acknowledges his extensive work to protect and preserve the wildlife, fisheries and water resources of the state of Wyoming, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes, and the nation.

The award showcases the commitment to enhancing knowledge and conservation of biological diversity in Wyoming.

As an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 25 years, Baldes was instrumental in implementing numerous conservation efforts.

After leaving the USFWS, he served on the boards of the National Wildlife Federation, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and the Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y).

He spent 15 years developing and implementing strategies for conserving special places like the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

He continues today as a founding member of the Wind River Alliance, a member of the Wind River Water Control Board, and mentor to many.

Recipients of the Biodiversity Science and Conservation Awards were nominated by individuals from around the state and beyond and selected by a panel of biodiversity experts from all over Wyoming representing university, private and public sectors.

The award was created in 2013 to publicly thank individuals who have dedicated their lives to increasing public and professional understanding, appreciation and conservation of biological diversity in Wyoming. It is distributed in odd-number years.

"We are so excited to honor Richard Baldes," UW Biodiversity Institute director Carlos Martinez del Rio said in a press release. "(He has) influenced so many through (his) service, mentorship and research both within Wyoming and the entire United States."

Baldes' lifetime work will be honored during an award ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in the UW Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center.

The award ceremony, expected to last until 6:30 p.m., is open to the public.

A meet-and-greet at 5 p.m. and a reception following the ceremony also will be in the Berry Center.

"We welcome anyone who has been touched by (Baldes') work to attend the ceremony," Martinez del Rio said.

"(He is a) cornerstone... to biodiversity science and conservation, and showing your support and appreciation will make the award ceremony an even more special experience."

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