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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

November 3, 1999
Mike Stemple, (303) 236-7862, x.248
Karen Miranda-Gleason (303) 236-7917, x. 431

New Missouri River Coordinator Appointed

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has appointed Mike Olson as its new Missouri River Coordinator, replacing former coordinator Mark Albers. Olson will work with States and other interested parties to find balanced solutions to fish and wildlife issues throughout the Missouri River Basin.

The Service works with its Missouri River partners to maintain and restore native fish and wildlife populations at viable levels. Olson will coordinate the work of the Service’s seven National Wildlife Refuges and two National Fish Hatcheries along the Missouri River, as well as six Ecological Services Field Offices and three Fisheries Assistance Offices. These offices administer a variety of environmental laws and regulations, and work to conserve the Missouri River’s natural resources.

"This is an extremely critical time for Missouri River Basin issues, not only for endangered species but for native populations," said Chad Smith, Director of the Missouri River Field Office for American Rivers, a national conservation organization. "We excited about working with Mike as the point person for the Service, serving as a bridge between the agency, Corps of Engineers, EPA, States, and other river interests."

Olson’s 10 years with the Service includes work on a variety of Missouri River Basin issues. He was instrumental in pulling together state, federal, and tribal biologists to implement recovery measures for the river’s endangered pallid sturgeon and least tern, and the threatened piping plover. Olson has also worked for the State of North Dakota conducting surface water investigations. A native of St. Cloud, Minnesota, he holds a B.A. in Biology from St. Cloud State University and an M.S. in Entymology from North Dakota State University.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprised of more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fish and wildlife management assistance offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign, state, and tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies.

Mr. Olson may be reached by phone at 701-250-4419; by FAX at 701-250-4400; and by e-mail at Mike_Olson@fws.gov. His mailing address is 3425 Miriam, Bismarck, ND 58501.


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