Montana native Brian Lipscomb is headed home after spending five years at the helm of the Portland-based Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority.
CBFWA's executive director has resigned, effective Aug. 20.
"… the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have asked that I return home," said Lipscomb, himself a tribal member. "They have recently created a Department of Energy to manage the energy resources of the CSKT in a way that respects the cultural and subsistence relationship to our homelands. I have agreed to be the director of this new department…."
The move completes a circle of sorts. When Lipscomb left the Flathead valley to start his new job in Portland July 1, 2005, he and his wife Allyson occupied a recently emptied nest -- both sons had gone off to college. Now, it'll be a Montana family reunion. Both sons graduated from college this year, one in engineering and one in biology, and both have moved with their wives back to western Montana, Lipscomb said.
Probably the largest step forward taken by CBFWA during Lipscomb's tenure was the development of the Status of the Resource annual report and website, a continually refreshed database that charts the status and trends of fish and wildlife populations in the Columbia River Basin. The product helps inform fish and wildlife managers about the relative success of restoration activities that are funded by the Bonneville Power Administration through the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program.
"I am proud to have been a part of constructing that (the Status of the Resource) along with the members," Lipscomb said. CBFWA's membership includes four state and two federal fish and wildlife management entities and nine Indian tribes of the Columbia River basin.
The report increases accountability by reporting progress, the lack thereof, and can be an important tool for guiding future management decisions, he said.
"I have very much enjoyed my time as the executive director for CBFWA and am especially proud to have been a part of the work accomplished in the past five years by the members and the dedicated staff here at CBFWA," Lipscomb said in an Aug. 9 e-mail to contacts involved in Columbia River basin fish and wildlife restoration.
"The members' vision and dedication to the resources, the staff's capability and capacity for handling large, technical workloads, and the region's commitment to restoration of the basin's fish and wildlife resources have combined to bring together the major elements of a truly coordinated adaptive management program," he wrote. "Adaptive management has moved from a buzz word to reality in the Columbia River Basin at a scale probably not seen by this country or the world until now."
Before coming to CBFWA Lipscomb served for 10 years as manager of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes' Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation & Conservation and Tribal Lands Department manager.
Lipscomb was responsible for the Salish and Kootenai participation in activities related to the Federal Columbia River Power System. He also has experience in negotiating and implementing mitigation programs to offset impacts to the tribes' fish and wildlife resources resulting from the operation of Kerr Dam on the Flathead River and from the contamination of the Upper Clark Fork River Basin.
Lipscomb graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman with civil engineering degree. But his career has been focused on resource management.