The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) presented a prestigious conservation award on Thursday to Tim Breault, director of the FWC’s Division of Habitat and Species Conservation, and recognized one of its law-enforcement officers for his heroic life-saving rescue.
Each year, the Wildlife Foundation of Florida honors former Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission Chairwoman Louise Ireland Humphrey of Tallahassee by recognizing an FWC employee whose dedication and service have made a significant contribution to protecting and conserving Florida’s fish and wildlife.
“We applaud one of the most dedicated wildlife conservationists in Florida,” said FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley. “Tim has dedicated most of his career to the FWC.”
Originally from Connecticut, Breault received his B.S. degree in wildlife science from Cornell University. He began his career in Florida in sea turtle research and later worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a technician on Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. In 1975, he began working for the state as a wildlife technician and moved up through the ranks at the FWC until he was appointed director of its Division of Habitat and Species Conservation in 2004.
“Tim has successfully managed one of the FWC’s largest divisions through his consistent dedication to involving stakeholders and communities in the decisions that are made, affecting not only our fish and wildlife, but our residents as well,” said Brett Boston, who presented the award. Boston is executive director of the Wildlife Foundation of Florida. “Tim has worked with diplomacy and tenacity, never settling for anything but the very best for our resources and the public.”
Breault manages a division that includes habitat management of 1.4 million acres of publicly owned conservation lands, for which the FWC is lead manager. He oversees aquatic habitat restoration, imperiled species management, the implementation of the state’s wildlife action plan and exotic animal and invasive species control. His experience spans the state from the Everglades marshes to the Panhandle forests and from coastal areas to sandhills.
“This award honors one of Florida’s greatest conservationists, Louise Ireland Humphrey, and today we honor another great friend to wildlife,” Boston said. “It is a great privilege to present this award to Tim Breault for his dedicated service to Florida.”
Commissioners also recognized Lt. Anthony “Tony” Wright, recipient of the FWC’s “Lifesaving with Valor” award, at the Feb. 24 meeting. He earned the award for rescuing a woman from a burning car in Yulee in November.
The victim’s vehicle had caught fire after striking a power pole. As bystanders attempted to extinguish the flames, Wright used a tire iron to smash out the side and rear windows and then climbed on top of the car’s trunk to pull the victim through the rear window to safety.
“We are extremely proud of Lt. Wright’s heroic actions,” said Col. Jim Brown, director of the FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “Our officers are trained to respond to a variety of situations, but this is something that is difficult to anticipate. It truly required quick reflexes, smart decisions and bravery.”