In this business, we have many close partnerships with other federal, state and local agencies, and this weekend, we lost a good man. Sam Hamilton, the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, died suddenly of a heart attack while skiing in Colorado.
We worked closely with Sam for many years, as he was a partner to the Corps in helping to restore the Everglades, which is the largest ecosystem restoration project in the country. He was also heavily involved in the recovery and restoration efforts of coastal wetlands, wildlife refuges and other wildlife habitat around the Gulf of Mexico after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar said, “Sam was a friend, a visionary, and a professional whose years of service and passionate dedication to his work have left an indelible mark on the lands and wildlife we cherish. His forward-thinking approach to conservation – including his view that we must think beyond boundaries at the landscape-scale – will continue to shape our nation’s stewardship for years to come.”
Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Rowan Gould said, “He was inspired by the men and women of the Service who dedicate their lives to protecting fish and wildlife and habitats, always believing that working together, and with our partners, we could accomplish so much.”
The Corps has lost a friend, and the nation has lost a dedicated, selfless servant.