Feb 21, 2010 9:10 AM by Associated Press

Fish and Wildlife chief dies after skiing

The director of the Fish and Wildlife Service has died after suffering chest pains while skiing in Colorado. Sam Hamilton was 54.

]The 30-year veteran of the agency, who assumed its top post in September, died Saturday afternoon after being transported off the Keystone Ski Area. Joanne Richardson, Summit County coroner, says his death was consistent with an underlying heart problem.

Hamilton helped lead restoration work in the Everglades, the largest ecosystem restoration project in the country. He oversaw the extensive recovery and restoration efforts required following
hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which devastated coastal wetlands, wildlife refuges and other wildlife habitat along the Gulf of Mexico.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called Hamilton a friend, visionary and leader who left an indelible mark. "




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