Agriculture Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) Edward Avalos welcomes back two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant health Inspection Service (APHIS) biologists from 18-week tours of duty in Afghanistan on Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2013. The biologists spent long days using their wildlife expertise to reduce aircraft hazards to American and coalition aircraft at military airbases. USDA APHIS New Mexico district supervisor Keel Price received the prestigious Award for Exemplary Civilian Service for managing a massive habitat modification project near the Kandahar Airfield. The Smithsonianâs Feather Identification Lab recognized USDA APHIS Idaho State director George Graves for his contributions of over 1,300 feather and mammal specimens to the Smithsonian. These USDA APHIS wildlife biologists have reduced damage at the warzone bases by approximately $2.6 million, decreasing wildlife strikes by about 65%. (L to R USDA APHIS Deputy Administrator Wildlife Service Bill Clay, USDA APHIS Acting Associate Administrator Peter Fernandez, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History Research Scientist and Manger in the Feather Identification Lab Carla Dove, USDA APHIS Wildlife Service Biologist New Mexico district supervisor Keel Price, USDA APHIS Wildlife Service Biologist Idaho State director George Graves, Agriculture Under Secretary MRP Edward Avalos, USDA APHIS Associate Administrator Martin Mendosa, National Coordinator Mike Begier, and USDA APHIS Wildlife Biologist Eastern Region Chris Bowser). USDA photo by Anson Eaglin.
May 2, 2014
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