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 2010 National Recovery Champion Award:
Special Agent Keith Swindle – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Honolulu, Hawaii (Newell's shearwater)
Strategically exercising his enforcement authority, Special Agent Keith Swindle has brought legal action to bear on chronic violations of the Endangered Species Act in Hawaii, particularly on behalf of the threatened Newell’s shearwater. Collaborating with stakeholders, he brought about the first significant reductions in the major cause of the decline of the shearwater and other night-flying birds— their attraction to artificial lights and related collisions with power lines in the urbanized areas of Kauai. Agent Swindle’s approach has also generated partnerships with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, American Bird Conservancy, Hawaii Department of Fish and Wildlife, Hawaii Department of Transportation, County of Kauai, Hawaii State House Representative Mina Morita, and private businesses such as Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Robert Robichaux, PhD – Hawaiian Silversword Foundation, Volcano, Hawaii (Mauna Loa silversword)
Since the 1980’s Dr. Robert Robichaux has led the way in conserving endangered Hawaiian plants and their ecosystems. After founding the Hawaiian Silversword Foundation with like-minded scientists, Dr. Robichaux has protected 50,000 acres of vulnerable native habitats—from lush rainforests to the arid slopes of volcanic mountains—and reintroduced 33,000 Mauna Loa silversword seedlings and 3,500 haha seedlings. His work supports research on the genetics and taxonomy of silverswords. Among recovery partners are the Volcano Rare Plant Facility, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Biological Resources Division of the U. S. Geological Survey, Hawaii Department of Public Safety, Kamehameha Schools, The Nature Conservancy, USDA Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, private landowners, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Recovery Champions from the Pacific Region in previous years:
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.