Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has awarded a Partners in Conservation Award to the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board Implementation Team for its contributions to salmon recovery in Washington state.
The award was presented in Wenatchee on Tuesday by Karl Wirkus, Pacific Northwest regional director for the Bureau of Reclamation.
It was one of 24 national awards to individuals and organizations, recognizing excellence in achieving natural resource conservation goals in collaboration and partnership with others.
The 24 Partners in Conservation Awards recognize conservation achievements resulting from the cooperation and participation of landowners; citizens’ groups; private sector and nongovernmental organizations; and federal, state, local, and/or tribal governments.
“These awards recognize the dedicated efforts of more than 600 individuals and organizations from all walks of life, from across our nation – and from across our border with Canada,” Salazar said. “They embody a broad spectrum of conservation work ranging from preserving battlefields, restoring watersheds and wetlands, protecting wildlife, conserving water and fighting invasive species to teaching conservation values to the next generation.”
The Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board Implementation Team completed nearly 50 habitat improvement projects in the Upper Columbia region of Washington State that opened dozens of miles of stream for salmon spawning and rearing, restored flows to numerous flow-critical reaches, improved habitat along several miles of degraded streams, and protected hundreds of acres of riparian habitat critical to salmon and steelhead species listed as threatened or endangered. The projects contributed to meeting requirements of NOAA Fisheries’ 2010 Federal Columbia River Power System biological opinion, which includes habitat improvement and restoration goals.
The team members represent: Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, Chelan County, Chelan County Public Utility District, Chelan Douglas Land Trust, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Douglas County, Douglas County Public Utility District, Entiat Watershed Planning Unit, Foster Creek/Douglas County Planning Unit, Governor’s Office of Regulatory Assistance, Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, Grant County Public Utility District, Methow Conservancy, Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, National Marine Fisheries Service, Okanogan County, Regional Technical Team/Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Similkameen Okanogan Watershed Action Team, Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Rivers Conservancy/Trout Unlimited, Wenatchee Watershed Action Team, and the Yakama Nation.