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San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge Neighbors Receive Stewardship Award
Southwest Region, April 1, 2008
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Joe and Valer Austin are among the recipients of the 2008 National Wetland Award, recognizing them for Landowner Stewardship.  This is the second such award the Austins have received this year.  The first was from the American Fisheries Society for their work restoring native fish.  The Austins, landowners associated with the Malpai Borderlands Group, have extensive properties in both Arizona and in Sonora adjacent to both San Bernardino NWR and Leslie Canyon NWR.  Refuge staff have been working with the Austins for many years to cooperatively restore wetland habitats on private lands for the recovery of threatened and endangered fish.  The pending Leslie Canyon Safe Harbor Agreement will help provide additional habitat for endangered species on the Austin's Bar-Boot Ranch while protecting the landowners from any potential negative effects of the Endangered Species Act.  It is rewarding to have adjacent landowners who share the Services commitment to species recovery, and it is great that they were recognized with this award. 

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



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