Chester A. McConnell
Mobile, Alabama

Mr. Chester A. McConnell has devoted his professional and personal energies to researching, monitoring, and protecting wildlife species, and has focused for decades on wetlands and streams.

Mr. McConnell served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1960 to 1963, then obtained an MS in wildlife management and botany. He then spent nine years as a wildlife biologist for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, researching small game species and overseeing two wildlife management areas.

In 1974, Mr. McConnell became the southeastern field representative for the private, nonprofit Wildlife Management Institute. He remained in this role, collaborating with government agencies, industry representatives, private landowners, and conservationists to protect wildlife habitat, until his retirement in 1999. As a field representative, Mr. McConnell reviewed wetland permit applications and project documents to assess potential wetland impacts. He wrote comments that encouraged applicants to improve their plans and discouraged agencies from permitting unsound projects. When persuasion was not enough, Mr. McConnell used public scrutiny and legal mechanisms to derail environmentally harmful plans.

Mr. McConnell now uses his personal resources to protect wetlands and streams. He and his wife Dorothy recently placed their 134-acre property in a conservation easement program with the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation so that the property will remain in its natural state in perpetuity.