DNR veteran wins Biologist of the year award

deerA long-time DNR biologist has been recognized with a state award.

The wildlife Biologist of the Year award was presented to Steve Schmitt. He’s a wildlife veterinarian with the DNR.

The 36-year DNR veteran is in charge at the state’s wildlife disease lab.

Officials said in his tenure, Schmitt has helped reduce the prevalence of Bovine Tuberculosis in Michigan’s deer herds.

Pat Lederle is with the DNR Wildlife division. He said “It’s very deserving for him to get this, he’s done a lot of work on things like Bovine Tuberculosis in deer, white nose syndrome in bats and he’s done a great job educating the rest of the division on how we need to work at managing these diseases and so he’s very well deserved to get this award.”

Schmitt received the Biologist of the Year award from the Michigan Involvement Committee of Safari Club International.

Schmitt and the DNR have a history of partnering with the Safari Club, including with Operation Moose Lift. That project Schmitt has said, helped save the state’s moose population more than 25 years ago.