By Published On: May 26, 2013

Little Snake River’s Larry Hicks Recognized With Conservation Partner Award

Larry Hicks, Natural Resource Coordinator for the Little Snake River Conservation District, was recognized for his achievements in landscape-scale habitat conservation with the 2012 Conservation Partner Award.

The award was presented by the Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV), an organization that furthers bird habitat conservation through science and partnerships across 11 states in the West.  The award is presented to an agency, organization, corporation or a collaborative effort that has made outstanding contributions to a Joint Venture-sponsored project or initiative, or has played an instrumental role in advancing strategic, landscape-scale habitat conservation.

From left to right: Larry Hicks, Alan Clark, and Dave Smith.

Hicks received the award at the IWJV Spring 2013 Management Board Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. Pat O’Toole, Managing Partner of Ladder Livestock Company and IWJV Board Member, presented the award.

“Larry Hicks has shown me how to see our land in a different way,” O’Toole said. “He is a pusher, and when he decides to get something done, it gets done.”

Hicks was essential in establishing the Muddy Creek Wetlands (near Dad, Wyoming), the largest constructed wetland complex in Wyoming with over 700 acres of seasonal and semi-permanent wetlands.  The complex supports up to 50,000 ducks during migration and a host of breeding shorebirds, including American avocet and Black-necked stilts.

He also helped facilitate a wide array of conservation easements and restoration projects on more than 16 miles of rivers and streams around the Little Snake River Basin.

IWJV Coordinator, Dave Smith, said that the accomplishments and vision of Hicks are manifested in the Muddy Creek Wetlands complex that Hicks assembled on a shoestring budget, largely through the spirit of partnerships and sheer will.

“The Muddy Creek Wetlands project is a great example of what can be accomplished by local people with the leadership of someone like Larry with a fire in the belly for conservation,” Smith said. “Today, that wetlands complex rivals many public refuges and wildlife areas in terms of bird values. It is a testament to Larry’s vision and determination.”

Hicks is quick to say these conservation achievements are the love and labor of many people.

“I’ve been lucky enough to stand on the shoulders of giants,” he said. “I’m one individual in a small community, so this is not recognition of me but the partnerships that have made this all possible. I was just the yeast that helped this cake to rise.”