BRIT Names 2016 Recipient of International Award of Excellence in Conservation

August 02, 2016

Carter Smith, Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to receive BRIT’s conservation award

FORT WORTH, Texas – Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and BRIT’s 2016 recipient of the International Award of Excellence in Conservation, is passionate about the great outdoors. He’s championed the Children & Nature Network movement in Texas, and he’s been extremely active in the realms of private lands stewardship, invasive species issues, coastal conservation, and acquisition of new park land for state parks and wildlife management areas.

As executive director of TPWD, a position he’s held since 2008, Smith is responsible for overseeing an agency of 3,100 professionals in 11 different divisions, including Wildlife, State Parks, Coastal and Inland Fisheries, and the Texas Game Wardens. 

“To us, Carter Smith embodies a new generation of engaged and socially active conservationist,” says Dr. Edward Schneider, BRIT’s president and executive director. “Texans will benefit greatly from Carter’s environmental values and leadership for many years to come. BRIT has chosen a very worthy recipient for its 2016 conservation award.”

Smith cultivated a love for wildlife and the great outdoors at an early age. He’s a hunter, angler and seventh-generation Texan. With a wildlife management degree from Texas Tech and a Masters in conservation biology from Yale, Smith began his career as a management intern with TPWD. His work as a biologist on exciting research projects ranges from studying mule deer and pronghorn antelope in far West Texas to moose in the forests of Saskatchewan.

“BRIT and Texas Parks and Wildlife share the same two-fold mission of conservation and education. Together, we have worked to introduce millions of children and adults to the wonders of Texas’ wild places and wild things,” said Carter Smith, executive director of Texas Parks and Wildlife. “I am honored and humbled to be receiving such a distinguished award from BRIT.”

Prior to his position as TPWD executive director, Smith was with The Nature Conservancy of Texas, serving as state director. He serves on several conservation-related boards of directors and advisory councils, and currently acts as Chairman of the Teaming With Wildlife Committee of The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and serves on the Association’s Executive Committee.  He is a past President of both the Southeastern and Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Created in 1995, the International Award of Excellence in Conservation is presented to honor individuals and organizations that exemplify the ideals expressed in BRIT's mission. Honorees include scientists, conservationists, heads of state, philanthropists, Pulitzer Prize winners, politicians and other notables. BRIT’s annual award event has played an important role in raising public awareness of its mission and has brought an increased understanding of the importance of conservation issues and environmental awareness. Through the education of supporters, BRIT has added to the global efforts to save the diminishing resources of the planet.

The award will be presented at BRIT’s annual event on October 20, 2016, at the Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. For ticket information, please visit our event page

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