Department of Fish and Wildlife
Wildlife Employee Steve Bonney Honored For Waterfowl Conservation Work
Morehead resident Steve Bonney recently won the Kentucky Ducks Unlimited Jim Monyahan award for outstanding contributions to waterfowl conservation. Bonney also helped raise public awareness and support for wetland conservation.
Bonney started his career with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources in 1984 as a wildlife technician. He became a district biologist in 1987, then coordinator over the northeast wildlife region in 1998.
Early in his career, Bonney became deeply involved with efforts to increase the resident Canada goose population around the Cave Run Lake area by providing nest structures, banding birds and conducting surveys. Today, the region around Cave Run Lake supports a population of resident Canada geese.
Bonney also recognized the benefits of shallow water wetlands to wildlife and their ecological importance to the surrounding community, especially in a region where shallow water is a premium. He has participated in more than a dozen wetland projects on lands managed by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, and provided input on numerous other projects on public and private lands within the region. Waterfowl use these areas extensively. Many of these areas are open for hunting.
Recognizing that hunters pay for conservation, Bonney was instrumental in the development and oversight of the popular youth and mobility-impaired hunts held each year at Minor Clark Fish Hatchery near Morehead. Bonney and his staff provided insight on the placement and construction of waterfowl blinds, encouraged flooding of pools adjacent to blinds to enhance hunter success, and collected mentor information from hunters drawn for the area.
Throughout his career, Bonney’s efforts have raised public awareness and support for wetland conservation. The Kentucky chapter of Ducks Unlimited honored Bonney with its Jim Monyahan Award at its annual state convention held last month. Monyahan, who is now deceased, was the highly respected manager of Ballard Wildlife Management Area in western Kentucky.