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White Mountain Apache Tribe Applauded for Conservation Efforts
Southwest Region, August 18, 2005
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The White Mountain Apache Tribe has created innovative strategies for balancing economic development and resource conservation in southeastern Arizona. The White House recognized their imagination and initiative and invited them to foster the advancement of a cooperative conservation vision at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation on August 29-31 in St. Louis, MO.

On August 18, the acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Matt Hogan, formally endorsed the Tribe's stewardship ethic and presented them with a certificate recognizing the Tribe's achievements. The certificate presentation took place at the Phoenix Zoo in front of the Mexican wolf exhibit. Matt Hogan and Dale Hall, Southwest Regional Director, met with Dallas Massey, Sr. Chairman, White Mountain Apache Tribe, to personally thank him for the Tribal initiatives that have benefitted Apache trout and wolves along with many native species of wildlife.

Fifty years before there was an Endangered Species Act, the Tribe knew that its native Apache trout was in rough circumstances. It established a rearing program in its hatcheries and carefully replicated lineages. All those years spent bringing back the Apache trout have paid off. Today eight new populations of Apache trout are firmly established. Twenty-one streams harbor many native fish, including the Apache trout.

More recently, the Tribe and the Service entered into an agreement to cooperate on reintroducing the Mexican gray wolf back into Arizona. The Tribe opened up valuable acres of habitat and welcomed wolf packs on their land. The first release of wolves onto the Fort Apache Indian Reservation occurred on June 23, 2003. This cooperative conservation effort is one of the reasons the White House chose the White Mountain Apache Tribe to help him convene the conference on cooperative conservation.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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