Join us in congratulating TALT’s Stewardship Manager, Ken Cearley, for receiving the prestigious Sam Beasom Conservation Leader Award from the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA). Ken was honored in a ceremony on July 11, 2015 at the TWA convention, Wildlife 2015, in San Antonio, Texas.
This award is given to a member of the professional conservation community who has made an outstanding contribution to the conservation of Texas wildlife and shares the philosophies of TWA. Past recipients include Don Steinbach, Dale Rollins, Steve Hall, Al Brothers, Fred Bryant, Bob Cook, Steve Nelle, Billy Higginbotham, Louis Harveson, Ruben Cantu, Neal Wilkins, and Carter Smith.
Ken is the consummate professional conservationist and wildlife educator. In a career that spans nearly four decades, he has proven himself as an effective educator, influencing countless landowners, youth, and fellow wildlife professionals. Ken has been an active and working member of Texas Wildlife Association for over 20 years.
Executive Director of the Texas Wildlife Association David Yeates said, “Ken has done so much for us and everyone across the state. We are honored to be able to recognize him. He is a humble servant!”
TALT is honored that Ken now shares his stewardship ethic and experience with TALT conservation easement donors and the landowner community.
The geographic extent of Ken’s work is unsurpassed among Texas wildlife educators. He has experience and expertise in the following regions: Coastal Prairie, Rio Grande Plains, Edwards Plateau, Rolling Plains, Trans Pecos, and High Plains. Ken has worked in each of these regions helping landowners understand the art and the science of successful and sustainable land and wildlife management.
Ken has organized and assisted with innumerable field days, workshops, conferences, and seminars. The diverse subject matter of these events is indicative of his wide range of expertise. Ken has also written extensively in popular articles, Extension publications, and other outlets about wildlife ecology and wildlife management.
The primary need for managing and conserving Texas wildlife and wildlife habitat lies in educating, inspiring and motivating private landowners. Ken, not only possesses the knowledge required to teach others, but more importantly, he has the heart of an educator and the personal qualities needed for an effective communicator.
When working with landowners, the qualities of humility, integrity, and the voice of experience are vitally important to gain credibility. Ken’s persona, his smile and his mannerisms, puts landowners at ease and they listen. Ken never seeks the spotlight for himself and never tries to draw attention to himself. His genuine humility shines through his work and people recognize that Ken works to help others, not to gain credit or accolades for himself.
Ken recently retired as the Wildlife Specialist for Texas AgriLife Extension, working out of Amarillo since 1998. Previously, Ken served as instructor at Sul Ross State University, Ranch Manager and Wildlife Biologist for private ranches in the Edwards Plateau, and worked for Texas Agricultural Extension Service in South Texas. Ken serves as the stewardship director with Texas Agricultural Land Trust and is president of Cornerstone Wildlife Consulting, LLC.
Most wildlife in Texas exists on private ranches engaged in livestock production and Ken is able to communicate and speak the language of traditional ranchers. He has first-hand experience in livestock ranching and understands livestock-wildlife interactions.
Ken has been active in Texas Brigades, since 1998, where he has served as president, instructor, board member, and steering committee member. His leadership in Brigade camps has helped hundreds of young people gain a knowledge and a passion for wildlife conservation. Ken is also active in Texas Wildlife Association where he has served as director and chairman of the Panhandle Region. Ken is motivated by his love of God’s creation and his desire to teach others the principles and practices of good conservation and stewardship.
Ken has passed along his land ethic to countless others including his children and grandchildren all of whom share his love of the land and his passion for natural resources.
Thank you to the Texas Wildlife Association for providing the text for this blog. To learn more about their organization visit http://www.texas-wildlife.org.