N.C. conservationist honored by National Wildlife Federation

Richard Mode
Richard Mode

The National Wildlife Federation has named Morganton conservationist Richard Mode the winner of its National Conservation Leadership Award.

The award ceremony took place last weekend at the federation’s annual meeting in Stevenson, Wash. It recognized Mode’s four decades of work to rally hunters, anglers, and wildlife enthusiasts to support policies that protect special places and wildlife.

Mode is a board member of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation and has served for more than two decades as the affiliate representative to the national group. He’s also a past president and board chair of Trout Unlimited and founder of the local TU chapter.

“A love of the outdoors permeates everything Richard does,” Tim Gestwicki, chief executive of the state Wildlife Federation, said in a statement.

“Richard’s work to protect clean water, preserve trout habitat, and defend our public forests has had real benefits for fish and wildlife. Driving these successes is Richard’s passion and positive, collaborative spirit that leaves a lasting impact on everyone around him.”

Among his efforts, the federation said, are fights to save rivers and overhaul hydropower management decisions so they account for wildlife and fishery resources, minimize the impact of logging and mining on fish and wildlife, defend public lands and advocate for effective air- and water-quality legislation.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender