Buck receives Safari Club "Legislator of the Year" award

State Rep. Jim Buck, R-Joyce, was honored recently as the Safari Club International's Legislator of the Year. A trophy presented to Buck during the organization's annual convention in Las Vegas, Nev., commends the 24th District lawmaker for his national recognition and leadership on natural-resource issues, habitat protection and enhancement programs, and for "conserving and protecting the heritage of hunting."

Among his legislative accomplishments, Buck was the sponsor and principal author of the 1998 Salmon Protection Act and the 1999 "Forests and Fish" timber practices law. Widely regarded as one of the Legislature's most knowledgeable authorities on Northwest salmon-restoration issues, the veteran legislator and sportsman also serves on the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Pacific Fisheries Task Force.

Safari Club International (SCI) was founded in 1972 by C.J. McElroy. The 32,000-member hunting and wildlife conservation organization comprises 140 chapters worldwide, and a museum at its headquarters in Tucson, Ariz. Much of SCI's behind-the-scenes work is directed toward wildlife enhancement and improved access for outdoors enthusiasts.

Among its projects in Washington, SCI provided radio collars for moose, elk and cougar studies, helped capture and relocate bighorn sheep, purchased robotic deer to aid wildlife agents in arresting poachers, banded birds for research, and provided funding for a handicapped-accessible dock at West Medical Lake near Spokane.

 Buck, the former chairman and later co-chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, received a similar honor last summer when he was named the first recipient of the Washington Hunters Heritage Council's "Legislator of the Year" award.