Dennis L. Krusac
SBDN Lifetime Achievement Award 2017
Dennis Krusac has had a stellar career during his 36 years with the United States Forest Service. Dennis has served in various positions from District Wildlife Biologist, early in his career, to Regional Endangered Species Specialist, a position he occupies today. The attached resume reveals a long line of accomplishments involving bats and other species, an involvement in conservation that is nothing short of extraordinary. Of interest to us, and this nomination, is Dennis’ participation and accomplishments regarding bats in the southeastern United States where he is a conservation stalwart for these remarkable mammals. Through his administrative skills, coordination expertise and biological knowledge, Dennis has woven a strong bond between many local, state, federal agencies and outside conservation organizations, in the pursuit of bat conservation actions and results. His hands-on approach to fieldwork, public education, presentations at scientific meetings, and through his participation as a team member on numerous national bat management initiatives, Dennis’ efforts have had impacts directly on individuals and all the way to formulation of National Policy on National Forest lands. The following are a few highlights from his career:
Dennis is one of the founding members of SBDN and had long been associated with the “parent meeting of SBDN,” the Colloquium on the Conservation of Mammals in the SE United States. SBDN was founded in 1995 and the very next year saw Dennis providing leadership in formulating research questions for the Southern Research Station to investigate and determine the effects of prescribed fire and timber harvest on the federally endangered Indiana bat. He has been on a tireless roll every since.
Dennis has served on the following teams and committees and as an advisor where he has been a powerful advocate for bats. A partial list includes: Forest Service Eastern Region Indiana Bat Team, Bats of Eastern Woodlands Initiative, North American Bat Conservation Partnership, Board Member of the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network, Georgia Bat Working Group, Bat Conservation International’s Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative Technical Advisory Committee and More Kids in the Woods.
In 2001, Dennis helped coordinate the first bat blitz in the nation which has since become one of the primary programs sponsored and facilitated by SBDN. Since 2003, Dennis has advocated and secured funding for a minimum of 10 Bat Blitzes that involved National Forest lands in both the southern and eastern regions of the US. These events, coordinated with state and federal agencies and outside groups, have resulted in an enormous amount of biological data and thousands of volunteer hours donated by hundred of participants. In my mind, Dennis’ involvement and support of SBDN’s Bat Blitz program is truly a highlight in his legacy as a wildlife biologist.
Dennis Krusac is a biologist’s biologist. His career is nothing short of an extraordinary effort in conservation, much of which has been devoted to bats. For his efforts, Dennis has been recognized and presented many, many awards. Of all the wonderful bat biologists/researchers I have known through the years, Dennis comes to mind as having had perhaps the greatest overall impact in the southeastern United States due to his influence on the extensive acreage of National Forest land. SBDN has been very fortunate to be associated with this remarkable man.