Alan Peoples receives the Oklahoma award. Pictured with Kristen Gillman, Wildlife Lands and Mineral Coordinator at Oklahoma Department of Wildlife and Conservation Photo by Kristen Gillman.
Alan Peoples a 30-year retiree from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation was honored at the Oklahoma Natural Resources Conference that was held February 10-12, 2020 in Norman, Oklahoma. The award is the ODWC’s most distinguished and was presented to Peoples for his outstanding contribution to the profession of wildlife management in the state of Oklahoma. “I am honored to receive this award. It is very prestigious, and I sincerely appreciate it. The respect of your peers in anything you do should be your goal from the beginning.” says, Peoples. He came to the ODWC with a BS and MS Degrees in Wildlife Ecology, Oklahoma State University. He was hired as an Upland Game Biologist to originate and direct Oklahoma’s first quail enhancement program. This project included landowner education on habitat management and quail research and monitoring. This commitment to quail conservation has helped to lead to a covey rise in the state of Oklahoma. In November 1999, Peoples was promoted to Chief of Wildlife Division where he was responsible for the management of over 100 employees and 1.4 million acres on 87 Wildlife Management Areas. While in this position Peoples partnered with Oklahoma State University’s Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management along with the Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research to conduct long-term research programs. He continued to make advancements in wildlife management by helping to facilitate the building of two field stations on Beaver River and Packsaddle WMA’s to be used for wildlife research. Another accomplishment of Peoples while serving as Chief was to help the ODWC acquire over 79,000 acres for habitat and species conservation. Oklahoma being 97 % privately owned, this land procurement provides protection for various wildlife and habitats as well as fulfilled the crucial need for public recreational land. Since retiring Peoples has started a new position as Watershed Coordinator for Oka’ The Water Institute at East Central University and is back to helping landowners implement best management practices. This land management will focus on helping to improve soil health and preserve water resources for the state. Susan Paddack Executive Director for Oka’ says, “we are very proud of Peoples winning the Oklahoma Award and are fortunate to have his experience and expertise as an addition to the Oka’ team.”