A special Carsonite to be honored at annual wildlife meeting

The Nevada Wildlife Federation (NvWF) recently announced that two Carsonites have been selected to receive prestigious awards.

The two local honorees are:

Dr. Ron Panik, who was selected as State Conservation Educator of The Year and Dick Biggs, who was selected as State Conservationist of The Year.

My warmest congratulations to both men for their highly regarded awards.

They will be honored at the NvWF annual meeting on Saturday at the Red Hawk Golf Course at Spanish Springs, just north of Sparks.

I do not know Dr. Panik and the Federation kindly provided the following information on him:

- Dr. Panik:

"Dr. Panik teaches at Western Nevada Community College. His subjects include Environmental Science, General Biology, Organismal Biology and Human Anatomy and Physiology.

Dr. Panik is known for his love of the environment with 46 years as a sportsman. He hunts, fishes, traps, camps, hikes and is especially fond of birding.

He is also very active with the Eagle Scouts program.

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Panik has published several papers on wildlife in Nevada.

He also does research on wildlife for the Nevada Division of Wildlife, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service."

Congratulations to Dr. Panik.

- Dick Biggs:

Dick Biggs is entirely different.

He is a very special Carsonite and has been a close personal friend for more years than we both care to admit. The two of us have spent countless hours and days enjoying hunting, fishing and camping together, all the way from the Carson City area to the far reaches of Alaska.

In about a month, we will travel to Wildhorse Reservoir in Northeastern Nevada, together with my son, Jim, to fish for rainbows and German browns.

In August, we will travel to Sitka, Alaska to fish for silver salmon, halibut and bottom fish.

In the meantime, we go to breakfast several times every week at the Creekside Deli, together with our "buds," Norm Budden and Bob "Slick" McCulloch.

In addition, the two of us get together, quite often, in the late afternoons to enjoy a quiet, leisurely and very tasty Mahantten cocktail.

And best of all, we are neighbors, only separated by one block.

The State Conservationist of The Year award is the most prestigious of all of the awards that are presented by the NvWF.

As a former winner of the State Conservationist of The Year Award in 1988, I am delighted to have a close, personal friend selected to receive that top honor.

Being highly biased, I can not think of anyone more deserving of that selection.

In case you do not know Dick Biggs, here is some fascinating information about a truly unique individual:

He has lived in Carson City since 1945 and has been retired for many years from the Materials and Testing Division of the Nevada Department of Transportation.

His wife is Wanda and they have been married 54 years as of May 2.

They have two children, Dave Biggs of Douglas County and Laura Todd of Stockton, Calif., six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He is 83 years young. And I do mean Y-O-U-N-G!

To begin with, how many 83 year-olds do you even know?

At age 83, he is currently busy remodeling his bathroom. Geez, how many 83 year-olds do you know who are busy re-modeling their own home?

At age 83, he recently bought a baseball glove to be able to teach his great-grandson how to play baseball. Wow! How many 83 year-olds do you know who play baseball?

He loves to fish and hunt.

And whenever we get the chance, we fish and hunt together.

He recently applied for a Nevada 2000 buck mule deer hunting tag for the various big game management areas around Carson City and for a cow elk tag for the Ely area. He is now anxiously awaiting word that he has been drawn for either or both tags.

His background reads like a virtual "Who's Who" in the local outdoor world.

He has been an active member of the Ormsby Sportsmen's Association (OSA) in Carson City since the late 1940's. Biggs is one of only seven members ever selected to be Honorary Life Members in the entire history of OSA. As an active member of OSA, he has served in every club office on numerous occasions including a number of different times as president. He is the current Past President.

He served for many years as a member on the Carson City Advisory Board to Manage Wildlife.

Biggs is the only person in Carson City to be selected as an Honorary Life Member in two different sportsmen's groups. They are OSA and the Carson Rifle and Pistol Club.

He served many years as the Chief Hunter Education Instructor for the Carson City area. Biggs is extremely proud (and correctly so!) of the fact that out of more than 2,000 students who he taught, none have ever been involved in a hunting mishap. That is a remarkable achievement.

He was honored on two different occasions by the NvWF as the State Hunter Education Instructor of The Year.

In 1994, Governor Bob Miller selected December 3, as Dick Biggs Day in honor of his many years of dedication and contribution to the Nevada Hunter Education Program.

He also lays claim to being the first non-Native American to successfully take a buck mule deer with a bow and arrow in the Carson City area.

You might ask, "Hmmm, I wonder what he is up to now?"

Well, he is busy as a bee working on an OSA project to erect a number of bird stands along U.S. 395 in Washoe Valley for use by the many hawks in that area.

The Nevada Wildlife Federation has truly selected a deserving individual as its State Conservationist of The Year.

I hope that if I am still here at age 83, I can be just half as active as Dick Biggs.

A tip of the hat to a very special Carsonite. Well done, partner!

- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon he can't name someone who uses horribly salty language just like an old sailor.

If he replies, "Heck, it can only be Dick Biggs," he is right on!


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