Current NRA President James W. Porter II was named "Conservationist of the Year" by the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF) earlier this month, at the organization's annual Achievement Awards Banquet.
The Alabama Wildlife Federation Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards (GCAA) are the most respected conservation honors in the state of Alabama. Over the past 30 years, the AWF has presented these awards to individuals and organizations that make great contributions to the conservation of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources.
The AWF cited Porter's lifelong dedication to the conservation cause and dedicated ethics in its decision to present him with the award. The organization's official release reads:
For over 100 years, Jim Porters' family has owned land in Pickens County. Throughout that history, they have actively managed those lands to provide quality timber, productive wildlife habitats, and hunting opportunities for family and friends. It is those historical roots and experiences that form the foundation upon which Jim Porter’s conservation ethic is anchored.
As an outgrowth of his conservation ethic, Jim has provided key volunteer leadership on a variety of fronts. In the early 1990’s he was heavily involved in the drafting and development of the initial legislation to create the Forever Wild program and the efforts leading to legislative passage and voter approval of the original Forever Wild Constitutional Amendment in 1992. In 1998, Jim was appointed to serve a six-year term on the Forever Wild Land Trust Board and was instrumental in key Forever Wild purchases including the Mobile-Tensaw Delta purchase, the Freedom Hills purchase, and the Walls of Jericho purchase. True to his roots and convictions, Jim was the catalyst in garnering the overwhelming support of the Forever Wild Board of Trustees to incorporate public hunting opportunities into the management plans for Forever Wild properties at all appropriate times. As a result, approximately 98% of Forever Wild properties offer hunting opportunities to Alabama citizens.
Also in 1998, he was appointed to serve a six-year term on the Governor’s Conservation Advisory Board where he assisted the Conservation Commissioner and the Conservation Department with deliberations on policies and procedures related to natural resources, hunting, angling, and outdoor recreation under the department’s jurisdiction. During that tenure, Jim’s goal and success was to help protect and enhance Alabama’s wildlife resources and insure the integrity of the hunting experience.
Jim has been a life-long and active member of the National Rifle Association. Over the last two years, he has effectively marshaled both his passion for Forever Wild and the National Rifle Association in a unique and effective way. During the effort to pass legislation providing the opportunity to reauthorize Forever Wild funding, Jim Porter testified in favor of Forever Wild, on behalf of himself and the National Rifle Association, at every public hearing held in the halls of the state legislature. Thanks to his efforts and those of a host of others, favorable legislation was passed allowing the people of Alabama to vote on renewing Forever Wild. Jim did not stop there. He marshaled the resources of the National Rifle Association to become a vocal advocate in Alabama for the Forever Wild Reauthorization Amendment that passed by 75% voter approval last November. And following in the footsteps of his father, Mr. Irvine C. Porter, earlier this year Jim was elected to and now serves as President of the NRA.
Jim Porter’s resume reflects a history of, respect for, and commitment to our hunting heritage, firearms freedoms, public access to the outdoors, and the conservation of our state’s natural resources that underpin each and every one of these elements.