U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
April 23, 2008
Contacts: Debbie Felker, 303-969-7322, x 227
Elizabeth Slown, 505-248-6909/363-9592,
DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR RECOGNIZES ENDANGERED FISH RECOVERY PROGRAMS WITH COOPERATIVE CONSERVATION AWARD
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – The Upper Colorado River and San Juan River Endangered Fish Recovery Programs were among 21 finalists who received the Department of the Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award at a ceremony held April 21, in Washington, D.C. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne presented the awards that recognized groups and individuals who achieved excellence in conservation through collaboration and partnerships.
“These outstanding partnerships and cooperative efforts represent a fundamental way in which our Department provides stewardship for America with integrity and excellence,” Secretary Kempthorne said. “They embody a broad spectrum of conservation work from restoring wetlands, rangelands and mine lands to protecting wildlife, conserving water and fighting invasive species to teaching conservation values to the next generation.”
The Department of the Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award program recognizes conservation achievements resulting from the cooperation and participation of individual landowners, citizen groups, private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and federal, state, local, and/or tribal governments. More than 700 groups and individuals were nominated.
The Upper Colorado River and San Juan River Endangered Fish Recovery Programs were established in 1988 and 1992, respectively, to recover endangered fish while meeting the needs of human water resource use and development.
“The programs deserve this distinction because they are national models for achieving conservation through collaboration,” said Benjamin N. Tuggle, Ph.D., Southwest regional director. “Both programs have demonstrated that endangered species conservation and water development and management can be compatible. The scope of their accomplishments could only be achieved by groups and individuals voluntarily coming together to solve environmental challenges.”
Partners include: the States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, Western Area Power Administration, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Jicarilla Apache Nation, Navajo Nation, Southern Ute Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Colorado River Energy Distributors Association, water development interests and environmental organizations.
Actions completed by the recovery programs provide Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance for more than 1,600 federal, tribal, and non-federal water projects depleting more than 3.1 million acre-feet per year in the Colorado and San Juan rivers and their tributaries in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico.
“The dedication and commitment of program partners are effective in moving toward recovery of the endangered fishes,” said Steve Guertin, Mountain-Prairie regional director and Implementation Committee chairman for the Upper Colorado River Program. “Cooperative relationships have resulted in each program’s ability to provide river flows, restore habitat, construct and operate fish passages and screens, produce and stock endangered fish, reduce predation and competition by nonnative fish and monitor the results of these recovery actions.”
For more information on these awards, visit the Department of the Interior’s website: www.DOI.gov.
The Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program is a voluntary, cooperative program whose purpose is to recover the endangered razorback sucker, humpback chub, bonytail, and Colorado pikeminnow in the Upper Colorado River Basin while water development proceeds in accordance with federal and state laws and interstate compacts. For more information, 303-969-7322, ext. 227, or coloradoriverrecovery.fws.gov.
The San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program is a voluntary, cooperative program whose purpose is to recover the endangered razorback sucker, and Colorado pikeminnow in the San Juan River Basin while water development proceeds in accordance with federal and state laws and interstate compacts. For more information, 505-761-4745, or southwest.fws.gov/sjrip.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
For more information about fish and wildlife conservation in the Southwest, visit http://www.fws.gov/southwest/