San Joaquin River Restoration Program Wins Partners in Conservation Award

Kanaka Valley, Photo by Stephanie Rickabaugh, USFWS

The San Joaquin River Restoration Program (SJRRP), was recently recognized with a national Partners in Conservation Award.  Two Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office biologists, Stephanie Rickabaugh and Rebecca Lorig, were named in the award for their efforts to reintroduce fish and improve the ecosystem of the San Joaquin River.  Also named were Dan Castleberry and Robert Clarke from the Southwest Pacific Regional Office.

The SJRRP was one of 17 programs selected for the 2011 national awards to individuals and organizations that were presented at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, September 21, to honor "those who achieve natural resource goals in collaboration and partnership with others.”

Secretary Salazar Presents the Partners in Conservation AwardWhile presenting the awards Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar said “I am pleased to recognize the efforts of dedicated people from across our nation to conserve and restore our treasured landscapes, address water issues and forge solutions to complex natural resource issues through good government and strong partnerships."

“The Partners in Conservation Awards demonstrate that our nation's greatest conservation legacies often emerge when agencies and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds come together to address shared challenges.”

The SJRRP is a collaborative partnership between the FWS, Bureau of Reclamation, National Marine Fisheries Service, Natural Resources Defense Council and Friant Water Authority working with individual land owners, nongovernmental environmental organizations, water users, and state and federal agencies to restore 153 miles of the San Joaquin River below Friant Dam.
Though the SJRRP partners have diverse and competing interests, they are able to work collaboratively to ensure sustainable management of the nation's water and natural resources through establishment of clear commitments, diverse technical working groups, and a comprehensive public involvement program.

Authorized by the U.S. Congress in 2009, the SJRRP enabled the release, recapture and recirculation of interim flows to begin in October 2009, and is developing plans to reintroduce fish and improve ecosystem and flood conditions while addressing water user and landowner concerns.

The program partners have diverse interests and through establishment of clear commitments, diverse technical working groups, and a comprehensive public involvement program, they are able to work collaboratively and cooperatively to implement the program ensuring sustainable management of the nation's water and natural resources.