L.D.W.F. FORESTER WINS BIRD CONSERVATION AWARD

Release Date: 04/04/2006

2006-098 - Picture of award recipient available upon request.


L.D.W.F. FORESTER WINS BIRD CONSERVATION AWARD


Kenny Ribbeck, a certified forester and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologist programs manager for the Wildlife Division's Forestry Section, received a "2005 Partners in Flight National Award" for bird conservation at the 71st North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Columbus, Ohio on March 23.


Ribbeck is from Hammond and works at LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge.  He earned his PIF award in the Stewardship category, which honors an individual or organization that contributes significantly to the management, conservation or restoration of habitat for land birds. 


"This award acknowledges LDWF's conservation efforts for birds and other wildlife species in our Forest Management Program on the Wildlife Management Areas (WMA)," Ribbeck said. 


As a forester, Ribbeck has helped create better habitat for avian species by managing the forested lands with the wildlife in mind.  He coordinated avian surveys on nearly all WMAs to measure the effects of forest management actions on bird species compared to unmanaged forests.


"Kenny is a leader in the southeast regarding bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem management and restoration," said LDWF Wildlife Division Administrator David Moreland.  "This habitat is critical for many bird species."


Ribbeck's duties for LDWF include managing 462,000 acres of department owned lands across the state.  Over 95 percent of these acres consist of bottomland hardwood forest located within the lower Mississippi, Red and Pearl River Alluvial Valleys.  He has also helped oversee the department's Bottomland Forest Restoration Program, which has restored approximately 25,000 acres of agricultural land into forested land on LDWF WMAs. 


Ribbeck is the chairman of the Forest Resources Working Group, which is sponsored by the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture and includes other states, local state agencies, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and the commercial timber industry.  He is also a co-chairman on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Recovery Team.


Ribbeck also provides forest and wildlife management assistance to private landowners.  "My emphasis is to work with landowners who have a committed interest in wildlife on their properties," Ribbeck said.  "This experience has included work with the red-cockaded woodpecker and projects geared toward waterfowl, wild turkey, white-tail deer, squirrel and dove hunting opportunities."


After graduating from Louisiana State University with a master's degree, Ribbeck joined LDWF in 1984.  He was named "Professional Employee of the Year" by LDWF in 2003 and "Conservationist of the Year" by the Central Louisiana Chapter of Safari Club International in 1998 among other awards and recognitions.  Ribbeck was promoted to the position of forest supervisor in 1987.  The Forestry Section of LDWF has grown over the past twenty years and today Ribbeck has a staff of eight foresters who manage the WMA forests. 


EDITORS: For more information, contact Kenny Ribbeck at 225-765-2942 or kribbeck@wlf.louisiana.gov.