News Release

January 25, 2013

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Official Receives Interior Department's Meritorious Service Honor

Media Contacts:
Joan Jewett, (503) 231-6211

In recognition of his outstanding dedication and leadership, Ken S. Berg, Project Leader of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, has been given the Meritorious Service Award of the Department of the Interior.  In an informal ceremony this week, Robyn Thorson, Director of the Service’s Pacific Region, presented the award to Berg for his significant accomplishments in leadership and his many contributions to conservation.

One of the highest honors a Service employee can receive, the award  recognizes Service employees who support the mission of the agency through their exceptional continued contributions.

“Ken’s accomplishments have been significant and sustained in both leading change and securing conservation,” Regional Director Thorson said. “He continues to successfully reach across the spectrum of political and land-use concerns to develop solutions while maximizing conservation benefits to trust species.”

In 2008, Berg received the Service's first annual award for Science Leadership for his unselfish acts, dedication and the support provided to accomplishing the overall mission of his  program, which is based in Lacey, Washington, and also has offices in Spokane and Wenatchee. His strong leadership, professional and positive attitude contributed to his program receiving two Environmental Protection Agency Green Challenge Awards for waste reduction.  His focus on conservation has achieved significant conservation gains, resulting in his program receiving more than $141 million in funding for Washington State projects to protect and recover federally protected species. The office also assisted Washington's tribes in securing a total of nearly $6.8 million in Tribal Wildlife Grants. Berg's extensive personal involvement resulted in more than 12 million acres of Habitat Conservation Plans being added in Washington State.  In partnership with federal, state and tribal partners, he assisted in the removal of the Elwha, Glines Canyon, Condit, and Hemlock dams, which will restore essential habitat for salmon, bull trout, and other species.

Berg's actions have resulted in 13 Natural Resources Damage Assessment settlements in Puget Sound that have provided more than $100 million for habitat restoration.

“Congratulations go out to this dedicated professional for his excellence and outstanding contributions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior,” Regional Director Thorson said. “Ken’s accomplishments truly embody what it means to be a public servant.”