bats at halloween

All the staff at Pioneer Ridge are looking forward to the signs of spring. We have heard the first calls of chorus frogs, sunrise singing of cardinals, and watched as turkey vultures again soar overhead.

We also have a new staff person working with the rest of the team. Stepping into the position left vacant when Kurt Baker retired will be Rick Tebbs. Rick comes to the Wapello County Conservation Board after working for the Lee County Conservation Board for twenty-eight years. So he has familiarity with the County Conservation Board system.

Rick has been married for almost thirty years to his wife, Ann. They met in college while he was obtaining his bachelor’s degree at Northeast Missouri State. After a year spent working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in North Dakota and then getting married, he attended Western Illinois University. While obtaining his Master’s in wildlife management, he was hired by the Lee County Conservation Board as their first Wildlife Manager. His main duties were working with landowners, habitat projects on county areas, and educating groups of all ages on the importance of conservation and wildlife habitat. Rick and his wife have two sons, Blake and Allen, who they are proud of; he says some of his best experiences in life were spending time getting outside with the family fishing, camping, and hunting.

Rick also has served on several state and local committees, which include Iowa Pheasants Forever State Council, Iowa Board of the National Wild Turkey Federation, local committee for Ducks Unlimited, Governor’s Upland Bird Committee, Resource Enhancement and Protection Delegate for Lee County, Iowa Conservation Alliance, Iowa State Extension in Lee County, and Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy working group. He’s also been an Elk’s Club Trustee.

“My father and grandfather provided me with experiences that gave me a land ethic and respect for the environment,” stated Rick. “I believe in wise use of our lands where this generation develops conservation practices that give the next generation even better experiences. I look forward to working with the people of Wapello County and want to make the Wapello County Conservation Board and its areas known for the experiences and learning capabilities they can provide.”

Rick says his goal in life has always been to “just make a difference” and the position as director gives him this opportunity. “I’ve also said you’re never too young to learn or have new experiences. We hope to see you in your county areas and we look forward to managing these areas for you and your kids to enjoy.”