Recovery Champions

Recovery Champions in the Pacific Region


The National Recovery Champion Award honors Fish and Wildlife Service employees and conservation partners throughout the United States who have made outstanding contributions to the recovery of endangered species. These individuals from the Pacific Region have received the

2013 National Recovery Champion Award:

Lisa Bellefond Puget Sound Partnership, Tacoma, Washington (streaked horned lark, golden paintbrush)

A recovery champion for the South Puget Sound Prairies for more than a decade, Lisa Bellefond brought together representatives of the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, and Interior in the Sentinel Landscape Initiative, integrating national security, food security, ecosystem restoration, and species recovery. The initiative has already been credited with an investment of $6 million towards permanently protecting habitat for the streaked-horned lark, Taylor's checkerspot butterfly, golden paintbrush, and Mazama pocket gopher. With her support, Thurston County received $1.8 million in Habitat Conservation Planning grants during 3 years to develop a countywide plan to benefit 16 species for 50 years on prairies, oak woodlands, and grasslands. Through her advocacy, Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Army Compatible Use Buffer program became the first in the nation to adopt the strategy of acquiring and restoring lands off the post, a key step in launching the expansive Sentinel Landscapes. A leader in collaborating and innovating, Lisa Bellefond has engaged diverse partners in protecting prairies and working lands for sustainable economic development.

Hawaii Plant Extinction Prevention Program: Joan Yoshioka, Wendy Kishida, Steve Perlman, Susan Ching Harbin, Talia Portner, Joel Lau, Hank Oppenheimer, Keahi Bustamente, Ane Bakutis, Patty Pali, Kristen Coelho, Josh VanDeMark, Mike Long, Marie Bruegmann, and Vickie Caraway – Hilo, Hawaii (Hawaiian plant species)

Dedicated to conserving Hawaiian plant species with fewer than 50 individuals in the wild, the Plant Extinction Prevention Program has addressed threats to these critically endangered plant species by fencing out grazing animals, bagging fruits to protect them from pests, trapping rats, and controlling “weeds,” along with going on the offensive—reintroducing plants into protected sites and collecting genetic material as an important tool if all wild specimens should be lost. Surveys have resulted in finding new populations, discovering new species, and rediscovering a fern—Deparia kaalaana—last seen in 1980! In the past year alone, the Plant Extinction Prevention Program has conducted conservation actions for 128 species. Officially begun in 2003, the Program has grown to involve stakeholders on all seven main Hawaiian Islands. It has created partnerships featuring private landowners, government land managers and water supply boards, invasive species committees, and representatives of botanical gardens, rare plant facilities, resorts, and aviation companies. Tapping into pride in natural resources heritage found nowhere else, the Program has saved species that evolved in isolation during millions of years.


Recovery Champions from the Pacific Region in previous years:


Coastal Program Grants Team: Ginger Phalen and Curtis Tanner – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (bull trout, marbled murrelet, and Chinook salmon)

Northern Spotted Owl Modeling Team: Bob Anthony, Ray Davis, Katie Dugger, Jeffrey Dunk, Betsy Glenn, David LaPlante, Bruce Marcot, Martin Raphael, Nathan Schumaker, Jim Thrailkill, Brendan White, and Brian Woodbridge – Oregon State University, Humboldt State University, Natural Resources Geospatial, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (northern spotted owl)


Olympic National Park Team: Karen Gustin, Brian Winter, Pat Crain, and Sam Brenkman National Park Service, Port Angeles, Washington (Bull Trout, Puget Sound Chinook Salmon and Steelhead)

Clackamas River Basin Bull Trout Team: Brad Goehring, Jason Dunham, Jeff Boechler, Chris Allen, and Dan Shively Mt. Hood National Forest, U. S. Geological Survey, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Bull Trout)

Nihoa Millerbird Team: Walterbea Aldeguer, Fred Amidon, Tom Edgerton, Chris Farmer, Holly Freifeld, Lauren Greig, Robby Kohley, Michele Kuter, Peter Luscomb, Sheldon Plentovich, Rachel Rounds, Cameron Rutt, Tawn Speetjens, Matt Stelmach, Daniel Tsukayama, Eric VanderWerf, George E. Wallace, Thierry Work, and Lindsay Young U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, American Bird Conservancy, Honolulu Zoo, Pacific Rim Conservation, U.S. Geological Survey (Nihoa Millerbird)


Special Agent Keith Swindle – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Honolulu, Hawaii (Newell's shearwater)

Robert Robichaux, PhD – Hawaiian Silversword Foundation, Volcano, Hawaii (Mauna Loa silversword)


The Willamette Valley Prairie Restoration Team: Steve Smith, Jarod Jebousek, Chris Seal, Jock Beall, Nate Richardson, Mikki Collins, Kate Norman, Jeff Dillon, Cat Brown, and Rollie White – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff at the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office, Portland, Oregon, and the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Corvallis, Oregon (Fender’s blue butterfly, Kincaid’s lupine, golden paintbrush, Nelson’s checker-mallow, Willamette daisy, and Bradshaw’s desert parsley


Jack Jeffrey – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Akiapolaau, `alala (Hawaiian crow), Hawaii akepa, Hawaii creeper, nene (Hawaiian goose), palila, Hawaiian hoary bat, and haha plant)

Dr. Dwayne K. Paige – Seattle Public Utilities (bull trout)


Holly Freifeld – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, Honolulu, Hawaii (Hawaiian petrel, Laysan Duck, Mariana fruit bat, and Newell's shearwater)

David Hays – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, Washington (Columbia basin pygmy rabbit)


Joanne Stellini – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Western Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, Lacey, Washington (marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl, bald eagle, bull trout, golden paintbrush, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, Columbian white-tailed deer, Canadian lynx, grizzly bear)


Paul Scheerer – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Corvallis, Oregon (Oregon chub, Borax Lake chub, Foskett speckled dace, Warner sucker, Hutton tui chub)


Also see the individuals who have received the Pacific Region's Recovery Leader awards over the last several years.


Last updated: January 9, 2015
Pacific Region Ecological Services
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