McALESTER, Okla. -- The McAlester Army Ammunition Plant received the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' Federal Conservation Partner of the Year Award during its annual conference in Portland, Oregon, on July 16.

MCAAP was nominated for the award by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for its ongoing partnership and environmental stewardship efforts. Oklahomans collected six of the 12 annual awards that were presented by WAFWA.

In the nomination packet, the ODWC credited the Army installation for its quality deer management program, agricultural leases, invasive species control and pest management, threatened and endangered species, and wetlands rehabilitation efforts.

ODWC also praised MCAAP for its public outreach efforts through seven controlled "stick and string" archery deer and two turkey hunts each year, for hosting the Southern Plains Traditional Archery Tournament and for its natural resource programs for school groups and others.

"We are very proud to be a partner in conservation with the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant," said J. D. Strong, director, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "It has been a great relationship that has benefited not only the natural resources on the plant but also the thousands of sportsmen and women who have been privileged with the opportunity to hunt the property.

"We look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come with our Federal Conservation Partner of the Year, the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant."

ODWC has partnered with MCAAP in natural resource conservation on the 45,000-acre installation for more than 30 years. The importance of being a good steward of the environment is not lost on the commander, whose primary function is munitions readiness for the nation's warfighters.

"We're honored to receive the federal partner of the year award from the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies," said Col. Joseph D. Blanding, commander, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant. "We take great pride in being good stewards of our natural resources and this award is a testament to the Army's commitment to the environment."

MCAAP is one of 17 installations of the Joint Munitions Command and one of 23 organic industrial base facilities under the U.S. Army Materiel Command.