St. Andrews, NB - The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) is pleased to announce that Ralph C. Keef of Hermon, Maine has been chosen as the 2014 recipient of the Lee Wulff Atlantic Salmon Conservation Award. Christopher H. Buckley Jr., Chairman of ASF's U.S Board of Directors made the announcement today at an ASF board meeting in New York City.
In 1998, Keef was elected President of the Maine Council of ASF, serving in that capacity and then as a director for many years. He has participated in countless field activities with state and federal fisheries biologists including marking and tagging juvenile salmon, electrofishing, and monitoring fish counting facilities. He has provided testimony in support of state and federal agency budgets for Atlantic salmon conservation and research programs and acted as a member/advisor to the U.S. section of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO) for 15 years.
Keef is a generous supporter of U.S. and Canadian organizations dedicated to the conservation of wild Atlantic salmon including Penobscot River Restoration Trust, Downeast Salmon Federation, ASF, and numerous Maine Atlantic salmon angling clubs. He has exhibited outstanding leadership in the ASF Live Release Program and donated thousands of hours over 15 years to the Fish Friends program enthusiastically recruiting teachers and schools to participate.
"It is an honor and pleasure to name Ralph C. Keef as this year's recipient of the Lee Wulff Atlantic Salmon Conservation Award," said Mr. Buckley. "For more than two decades, Ralph has been an educator, mentor, and generous supporter of numerous salmon conservation efforts both in the U.S. and Canada. His generous volunteerism is an inspiration to others, particularly fisheries scientists, teachers, children, and his fellow anglers who appreciate wild Atlantic salmon and the sport of fly fishing."
Keef graduated from the University of Maine in Orono in 1955 with a Degree in Chemical Engineering. After serving in the U.S. Army, he returned to the University of Maine and in 1959 earned a MS Degree in Pulp and Paper Technology. Early in his career, he spent time working in the pulp and paper industry in southeastern Alaska. It was a significant time in his life, not only because of the experience he gained in two major pulp mill startups, using a more environmentally-friendly manufacturing process, but because that is where he met his Alaskan-born wife Allison.
Keef's professional career included various management and consulting positions in paper mills located in Maine, Oregon, Nova Scotia, Quebec and New York. In his retirement, he and Allison moved to Hermon, Maine in 1994.
"From my university days, a goal was to work with pulp and paper companies that were committed to using newly developed processes, which reduce pollution of air, oceans and rivers, said Ralph C. Keef. "I am honored to receive this award and to be counted in the company of previous recipients."
The Lee Wulff Award is presented annually in his memory. Lee Wulff was an angler, artist, author and filmmaker, who dedicated 60 years of his life to conserving wild Atlantic salmon and advocating live-release angling to help safeguard their future.
Note: Due to health reasons, Mr. Keef was unable to personally accept the Lee Wulff Award in New York City. It will be presented to him at an upcoming dinner in Maine in Spring of 2015.
The Atlantic Salmon Federation is dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and the ecosystems on which their well-being and survival depend. ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England). The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.
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