A Williams Lake biologist has been recognized with an international award for his work with wolves, predators and mountain caribou.
Randy Wright passed away at the age of 59 after a battle with cancer in November 2012.
On Monday, Randy’s family received the Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year 2012 in his honour at a special presentation in Boitanio Park.
“Without Randy, the government of B.C. would never have accomplished the mountain caribou program,” said Mike Ramsay, regional manager recreational fisheries and wildlife program.
In order to take on a project of that magnitude with a very small staff, Randy and his family made huge sacrifices above and beyond what he should have, he continued.
Randy’s wife Diane, standing with her two daughters, sons-in-law, and grand-daughter, shared some personal memories about her husband’s work.
“I know Randy would be surprised, and honoured, and then surprised again with this award,” Diane told Randy’s former colleagues.
Alluding to family sacrifices she mentioned two in particular.
There were many times the department of highways dropped off dead carcasses in the family’s driveway.
“I would get up in the morning to see what critters had snacked on what they’d left behind,” Diane recalled.
Another memory involved rescued wolf pups awaiting transport to locations in the U.S.
One grad weekend, when Diane was still superintendent of School District 27 and slated to make a speech, she was delayed chasing little wolf pups around the garage and rebuilding a pup-proof fence.
“Randy thought that was the funniest thing that ever happened, and we often laughed about wolf pups and wolf stories.”
Looking around to his colleagues, Diane said Randy loved working with the staff in Williams Lake and took great pride in his work.
“We took great pride in his work too,” she said.
During his time working in Williams Lake, Randy’s 34-year-career saw him as a conservation officer, ecosystems specialist, wildlife technician, regional wildlife specialist and a senior wildlife biologist.
Colleague Rodger Stewart said all too seldom officers such as Randy receive the recognition and encouragement they deserve for protecting and preserving our wildlife.
The Shikar-Safari Club International was founded in 1952 by an international group of hunters interested in exchanging ideas about the sport.
Each year the club sponsors an award for the wildlife officer of the year in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, and the territories of both nations.
In 1966, the Shikar-Safari International Foundation was formed to support various wildlife conservation projects with funds raised by club members.