Rex Adams is the 2019 recipient of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Wildlife Club and Lincoln Journal Star Howard L. Wieger’s Nebraska Outstanding Wildlife Conservation Award.
The award was presented at Wildlife Club’s annual banquet held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, East Campus. Adams was honored with this prestigious award for his lifelong commitment and passion in promoting wildlife conservation and habitat, taking care of at-risk species and encouraging people to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors.
The award stated: In recognition of outstanding contributions to wildlife conservation in Nebraska and the generous, unselfish donation of services and resources to this achievement.
“Rex Adams is a true outdoorsman,” said Dennis Ferraro, Professor, University of Nebraska, School of Natural Resources, Herpetologist and Nebraska Educational Television Backyard Farmer panel expert. “He is a self-made conservationist with no formal education who has impressed many of us in the profession with his knowledge and expertise."
Ferraro told banquet attendees about Adam’s generosity in allowing UNL School of Natural Resources and Southeast Community College students to utilize his private property near the Chief Standing Bear Trail in Blue Springs to study different species in the area, especially reptiles. Ferraro thanked Adams for his willingness to work with the University and the time he spends sharing his outdoor resources to educate others about the value of wildlife conservation.
“We know that Rex has forfeited personal financial gain to preserve his property for the benefit of wildlife conservation,” Ferraro said. “We are fortunate he is willing to share his property to educate others and promote the outdoors.”
In addition to this recent award, Adams was selected 2000 recipient of the Nebraska Conservation Officers Association, Wildlife Conservationist Award. This award is presented to individuals who have dedicated their lives to the protection of wildlife and natural resources.
Adams, a lifelong resident of the Wymore/Blue Springs area, credits his father Lyle for his love of the outdoors. He gained an appreciation for wildlife conservation after he, David Colgrove and Gary Stohs purchased land from Jerry Marples in 1990 and started Adams’ Bottles and Bows in 1989. During his 20 years as an independent businessman and 15 years with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Adams has planted wildlife food plots, thousands of hardwood trees, especially oaks, and has preserved areas of native prairie and wildflowers on his property. Plus is an active member of Bluebirds Across Nebraska.
He is one of the founders of Big Indian Archers in 2003 who developed a special archery range at Big Indian Reservoir. The range is considered one of the premier outdoor archery ranges in the state. “I remember when five of us met at Bottles and Bows to organize Big Indian Archers and discuss the options in developing an outdoor range,” Adams said.
Over the last 30 years Adams has conducted bow hunting camps to educate young people on bow hunting safety, wildlife behavior, respect and appreciation for nature and the outdoors. He is a 30-year certified bow hunter educator and has taught and conducted bow hunting seminars throughout the state. In 1993 Adams was selected regional representative to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Caucus. This organization works with Congress, governors and state legislature to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping.
“It was after attending the Sportsmen’s Foundation Caucus I realized something had to be done on the local level to preserve wildlife habitat for future generations or there would be no place for people to enjoy hunting or the outdoors,” Adams said.