The Interior Department family has suffered a great loss with the passing of Sam Hamilton. On September 1, 2009, Sam D. Hamilton was sworn-in as the 15th Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the nation's principal Federal agency dedicated to the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats. Hamilton brought with him more than 30 years of experience with the Service. Prior to his appointment as Director, he served as Regional Director of the agency’s Southeast Region in Atlanta, Georgia. As head of the Southeast Region, made up of ten states and the Caribbean, he provided oversight and management of a $484 million budget and a 1,500-person work-force dedicated to protecting more than 350 federally listed threatened and endangered species and operating 128 national wildlife refuges.
In a video message, Secretary Salazar encouraged all employees to continue the work of Sam Hamilton as a tribute to his memory.
The 15th Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sam Hamilton Tami A. Heilemann-DOI
Secretary Salazar applauds the appointment of Sam Hamilton as the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tami A. Heilemann-DOI
Secretary Salazar signing the paperwork making Sam Hamilton the 15th Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tami A. Heilemann-DOI
Sam Hamilton visits Pelican Island, one of many sites he oversaw when he was Southeast Regional Director. On December 5 he accompanied Secretary Salazar where they added new refuges to the Centennial Trail boardwalk. The trail has panels recognizing all 551 National Wildlife Refuges. Also pictured left to right are Refuge Manager Charlie Pelizza, Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland and Cynthia Dohner, Southeast Regional Director. Tami A. Heilemann-DOI
Standing in the observation tower at the end of the Centennial Trail, Sam Hamilton with Secretary Salazar, Refuge Manager Charlie Pelizza, FWS Southeast Regional Director Cynthia Dohner and Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland. Tami A. Heilemann-DOI
Sam Hamilton and Secretary Salazar visited the Port of New York and the staff of the Animal Import Center. Here, Sam helps handle a Boa Constrictor, an invasive species in Florida's Everglades. Hamilton lead the move to ban imports on the Burmese Python and eight other snakes. Pictured left to right are Secretary Salazar, Supervisory Wildlife Inspector Robert Onda, Sam Hamilton and Regional Agent in Charge William Anderson. Tami A. Heilemann-DOI