U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Awards Partners in Louisiana and Maine with National Wetlands Conservation Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2004
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced national winners for the National Wetlands Conservation Awards. This award program recognizes private individuals and organizations for excellence in the development, restoration and enhancement of wetlands.
"Citizen conservationists like these award winners have volunteered their time, money and energy to wetland conservation," said Service Director Steve Williams. "The President recently announced an aggressive new national goal - moving beyond a policy of "no net loss" of wetlands to achieve an overall increase of wetlands in America. Thanks in part to dedicated partners like these who work locally to conserve wetlands, the Nation will achieve this goal."
R. Madison Murphy of El Dorado, Arkansas, is this year's Individual Achievement Award winner, for his effort to reforest 500 acres of farmland at the Epps Plantation in Louisiana with native bottomland hardwoods. The reforestation benefits interior forest birds and supports the recovery of the Louisiana black bear, migratory species, and other resident wildlife. The judges were particularly impressed by the project's wildlife plan, which allows for the removal of female bears and their cubs to an area in east-central Louisiana to establish another sub-population of bears.
The national winner in the group category is the Machias River Corridor Coalition for their work protecting habitat along the Machias River in Maine. The Coalition's Machias River Corridor Project resulted in the protection of 4,283 acres of wetlands and adjacent riparian habitat, enhancing critical habitat for the Atlantic salmon, and benefiting other riparian wildlife. This project stood out because of the comprehensive effort to permanently protect the entire Machias River drainage. Over 184 miles of shoreline along the Machias River and six of its tributaries are protected through this project.
The National winners were
honored at the annual Wetlands Conservation Awards ceremony today
that followed the annual Duck Stamp First Day of sale event, at the
Smithsonian's National Postal Museum.
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Atlanta, GA 30345