At July's Association for Conservation Information conference in Baton Rouge, La., the 33,000-circulation magazine won first place among entries from other game and fish agencies. ACI is a nationwide organization of members from conservation agencies' communications, public relations and education divisions.
Arkansas Wildlife Editor Jeff Williams said it was a great honor to receive the award.
"ACI hands out plaques in two dozen categories," Williams said. "They're all worthy, but the big prize is for best magazine. If these were the Oscars, the magazine category would be similar to best picture."
Montana Outdoors (last year's winner) was second and Texas Parks & Wildlife took third place. The Arkansas Wildlife calendar was awarded second in the calendar category (North Carolina was first; Oklahoma third).
ACI, which began in 1938, holds an annual conference. July's gathering offered workshops about handling media during a crisis, marketing, climate change, online publishing, digital archives and many other topics.
Williams said that a tip of the hat should be given to the staff that helps produce the magazine.
"Angela Sanchez, the senior designer who makes the magazine pleasing to the eye and easy to read; Randy Zellers, the managing editor who'll write about any topic, anytime, anywhere, and Trey Reid, the field editor who's busy with AGFC video work but keeps a hand in writing and photography. They're a really talented bunch and they deserve a lot of credit for this award. It's a small staff made smaller because none of us works only on the magazine. We constantly are involved in many other AGFC projects."
Williams said there's a saying about opportunity knocking, and this is an opportunity to thank loyal readers, hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers, conservationists, co-workers and everyone else who takes an interest in Arkansas Wildlife, which began as Arkansas Game and Fish magazine in 1967. "
This magazine wouldn't be possible without these groups of people who have been loyal to the AGFC and the magazine for years."
In another national competition earlier this year, the magazine was awarded first place in the National Association of Government Communicators contest. It was the fifth consecutive year Arkansas Wildlife was named top magazine by NAGC.
To subscribe to Arkansas Wildlife, call (800) 283-2664 or visit www.agfc.com. A year's subscription includes six bimonthly issues (including the calendar, which is available July 1). A one-year subscription is $8, a two-year subscription is $15 and a three-year deal is $21.