There was a draft going when Riesley 'Rick' Jones finished school, but he hadn't yet been selected. On a visit to his grandparents, Jones stopped in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and signed up for the Army. He was trained in military intelligence and served a year in active duty and five with the reserves. After he came home from the Army, he picked up work with an air-conditioning firm for two years. Then he asked himself, 'I've got a biology degree, what am I doing working with air-conditioners?' This led him to a meeting with Pat Noonan with the Nature Conservancy. Jones believes he was the 32nd hire with the Conservancy. In 1984 he joined the Fish and Wildlife Service as a Senior Realty Specialist in Florida (Region 4). He left, but eventually realized that the right fit for him was working for the Service. He returned to the agency in 1991 to work in Texas. He adds, 'Fish and Wildlife Service puts wildlife first and that's why I came back and that's why I stayed. I'm in the front end of conservation work - I'm working with landowners on key land protection projects.' Today, Jones is the Chief of the Realty Division in the Southwest Regional Office.
April 17, 2014
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