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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Dick Ray receives Commitment to Conservation Award 

Photo courtesy Four Corners SCI
Four Corners SCI presents the 2022 Jim Willems Commitment to Conservation Award to Archuleta County resident Dick Ray on March 12. Pictured, left to right, are Jim Willems, Ray and Mia Anstine.

By Jason Deweese | Four Corners SCI

Four Corners SCI is pleased to announce that Dick Ray, of Pagosa Springs, Colo., is the 2022 Jim Willems Commitment to Conservation Award recipient.

“We are so proud of Mr. Ray and all of his accomplishments,” said Jason Deweese, Four Corners SCI president.

The Jim Willems Commitment to Conservation award was created in 2020 by the Four Corners SCI board to recognize a person within the Four Corners area who has gone above and beyond for conservation efforts.

Ray is the retired owner of Lobo Outfitters located in Pagosa Springs, Colo.; he is also well-known for founding the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park.

Before he became an outfitter, Ray was a member of the New Mexico Houndsmen Association. Later, he founded the New Mexico Outfitters Association. He’s a past president of the Colorado Outfitters Association. You’ll find him speaking at Safari Club International’s Professional Outfitters and Guides Association meetings at their national convention. He’s a past Colorado wildlife commissioner and past president of the Colorado Outfitters Association.

“I don’t know of anyone who works as hard,” said Mia Anstine, SCI regional representative. “We wish there were more people in our community who are as dedicated as Dick Ray is in his effort to conserve wildlife.”

To this day, Ray can be found working to advocate for wildlife. He continues to work diligently to save trapping, hound hunts, maintain our elk populations in southwest Colorado, oppose the forced introduction of wolves into New Mexico and later, battled to oppose wolf introduction into Colorado. He’s done all of this and so much more because his commitment has always been to conservation.

Award

The Four Corners SCI Jim Willems Commitment to Conservation Award recognizes a local man or woman who has gone above and beyond in the realm of wildlife conservation. The award winner is nominated by chapter members and voted upon by the chapter’s board of directors. 

The candidate must display great stewardship of the outdoors. Their passion is present via their commitment to local conservation through volunteer and/or monetary giving. The recipient demonstrates involvement in local and/or national organizations that focus on the betterment of local wildlife, habitat and hunting. They have the ability to bring others into local conservation through knowledge, experience and education. Finally, the winner has a commitment to the recruitment of the next generation of conservationists.

About Four Corners SCI

Four Corners SCI is a local nonprofit that supports conservation, humanitarian and educational projects in the Four Corners area. 

Through the funds raised the chapter assists with Colorado Parks and Wildlife with studies and hunter education projects. It supports local youth groups such as 4-H and the rodeo team. They sponsor families who want to learn field to table hunting practices as well as sponsor disabled veterans to make their outdoor dreams come true. Four Corners SCI also focuses on legislation, speaking up for our rural community in regards to agriculture, wildlife and other conservation issues. The chapter supports lobbyists at the Colorado Capitol in a means to keep up with current issues that affect the Four Corners area.

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