The Aldo Leopold Memorial Award is the highest honor bestowed by The Wildlife Society.  Given Mike’s deep connection to TESF over the last 24 years, the award is yet another example that the organization operates at the highest level of fish and wildlife conservation with a differential focus on restoration of imperiled species. Their website press release of the award can be found at https://wildlife.org/tws-announces-2021-awards-recipients/.  Below is a summary of the award.


The highest honor bestowed by The Wildlife Society is the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award for distinguished service to wildlife conservation. The basic selection criterion is the significance of an individual’s contribution(s) to the wildlife field. Recipients receive a medal, plaque, and honorary membership in The Wildlife Society.

Following Aldo Leopold’s death in April 1948, there was much sentiment within The Wildlife Society for establishing an award medal in his memory. The first medal, sculpted by Gifford MacGregor Proctor, was awarded to J.N. Darling at the Society’s 1950 meeting in San Francisco.

Models were finished that year and dies were cast early in 1951. After the 1951 meeting, one medal was presented privately to Aldo Leopold’s wife, Estella, as a token of friendship and respect.  An engraved medal was sent (a year late) to J.N. Darling, and a second annual presentation was made to Carl D. Shoemaker.