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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pender County woman receives wildlife commission award

(left to right) Chairman Monty Crump, Kathryn Booher, Executive Director Cameron Ingram. (Courtesy NCWRC)

PENDER COUNTY — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recognized two recipients for their efforts in conservation, habitat management, education, and research that benefit small game.

The Lawrence G. Diedrick Small Game Award is given annually to an individual and organization that has made notable contributions to the state’s small game populations and the hunting heritage associated with small game, according to a press release from the wildlife commission.

Rocky Point resident Kathryn Rand Booher and the Wake County Wildlife Club are the 2022 honorees.

Booher, a financial supporter and active volunteer of the Southeast North Carolina Chapter of Quail Forever (SENC) and the South Carolina Bobwhite Initiative, acts as a liaison between SENC and the wildlife commission. She has helped create 7,000 acres of “Quail Trails” on Pender County’s Holly Shelter Game Land.

“The trails have improved access to and the management of early succession habitat, which has enhanced small game hunting opportunities and benefited many non-game species,” a release noted.   

Booher, whose family has 340 acres in the county, also was integral to managing its land’s longleaf pine forest via thinning and prescribed burns. The commission said it has led to improvements of the habitat and the quail population.

“Leading by example, she has encouraged other private landowners to effectively manage their own property to enhance habitat for bobwhite quail,” the release explained.

The Wake County Wildlife Club (WCWC) — which hosts the Dixie Deer Classic in Raleigh — has 165 members that promote wildlife conservation. It has advocated for young people to follow careers in the wildlife field and conservation.

The club hosts workshops on hunter safety, wildlife-associated recreation, education and diversity in hunting. It supports the Fur, Fish and Game Rendezvous held annually at Millstone 4-H Camp in Ellerbe and offers 30 scholarships each summer for teenagers to attend. Club members volunteer as camp instructors to expose youth exposed to fishing, hunting and shooting sports.

WCWC is located on 191 acres in Durham County and two years ago updated its plan to include commercial thinning, pre-commercial thinning and prescribed burning.

The Small Game Award is named in honor of Lawrence G. Diedrick of Rocky Mount, who served as a wildlife commissioner from 1993-2001. He promoted efforts to address declining populations of bobwhites, and other species dependent on early successional habitat. A group of Diedrick’s friends made memorial contributions to the Wildlife Endowment Fund to support the small game award in his honor, which started in 2003.

Nominations for the 2023 award will open March 1, 2023.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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