USU Extension wildlife specialist recognized nationally for conservation impacts

Messmer receiving the Caesar Kleberg Award for Excellence in Applied Research from The Wildlife Society president, Gary Potts.

Terry Messmer, a Utah State University Extension wildlife specialist and professor in the Department of Wildland Resources, was recently honored with two awards from different national organizations recognizing the impacts made by his community and conservation programs.

Messmer received the Caesar Kleberg Award for Excellence in Applied Research from The Wildlife Society, and the Western Regional Excellence in Extension Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Both awards recognize Messmer’s leadership abilities, his contributions to the community and the conservation impact of programs and projects he led.

According to David Dahlgren, a former graduate student and current wildland resources assistant professor who worked with Messmer on several projects, Messmer exhibits constant enthusiasm for his work and the people he associates with.

“Whether mentoring graduate students like me, riding on an ATV in the dark to capture a sage-grouse, coordinating with the governor’s office or working with federal agency heads in D.C., Terry is motivated by a deep care and concern for the natural resources and the people who depend on them,” Dahlgren said.

Messmer has accomplished much during his career, including the creation of an award-winning conservation program. The Utah Community-Based Conservation Program, led by Messmer, has restored over 500,000 acres of sage-grouse habitat and protected more than 94 percent of the state’s sage-grouse populations on 7.5 million acres since its creation in 1996.

“I am truly humbled by the recognition and more convinced than ever that we are doing the right thing for the right reasons,” Messmer said. “National recognition by these premier organizations further validates the role and importance of the USU land-grant mission in conserving our nation’s natural and human resources.”

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