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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

REGION 8: Regional Director Steve Thompson Recognized by California Senator Feinstein in the Congressional Record

Region 8, August 12, 2008

Alex Pitts, External Affairs

On the occasion of his retirement, Regional Director Steve Thompson was honored and recognized by many partners and officials for his efforts in working with them on behalf of California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin’s natural resources.


One that stands out is a speech made by Senator Feinstein on the floor the U.S. Senate and placed in the Congressional Record.  Senator Feinstein has worked closely with Steve on issues such as the acquisition of the Cargill salt ponds in San Francisco Bay and ongoing restoration of the Klamath Basin and the Sacramento San Joaquin delta.  Below is her speech as it appeared in the Congressional Record on July 30, 2008.  Senator Feinstein presented Steve with a signed and framed copy of this speech.



Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I wish to honor Steve Thompson, his stellar career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the dedication to solving our most difficult natural resources problems that he has demonstrated time and again throughout his career. Thompson is retiring on August 4 after 32 years with the Service. I know Steve as the regional director of Region 8, formerly the California and Nevada Operations Office, CNO, a job he assumed in 2002. From the regional headquarters in Sacramento, CA, he oversaw Service programs in California, Nevada, and Klamath Basin that administer the Endangered Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act and man-aged 51 national wildlife refuges and 3 national fish hatcheries. His many honors include being chosen in 1994 as the first ‘‘Refuge Manager of the Year’’ by the National Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Refuge Association. Even more notably, in September 2007, Thompson earned the Distinguished Executive Award, the highest Presidential Rank Award given to career senior executive service employees and the first time a Service employee has been so recognized.


I have worked now with Steve on many issues, including the Cargill salt ponds purchase and ongoing restoration, efforts to restore the Klamath River, habitat conservation planning, and CALFED. For his dedication to help find a way to purchase the Cargill salt ponds, Steve can feel pride at the migratory birds that now have a place to rest in San Francisco Bay on their long journeys along the Pacific flyway. For his utterly tireless work to find a way to restore the Klamath River, we do not yet know what result will ensue. But thanks to Steve’s leadership, we perhaps have a once in a generation opportunity to restore the River and its fisheries while providing certainty to farmers.


What I always found with Steve is that he is completely dedicated to finding that straight and narrow path through the bureaucracy to actually solve our biggest natural re-source problems. Others might find reasons why a solution can’t be found or why it might be imperfect from some idealized perspective. Steve just dedicates himself to finding that solution. He is a straight shooter. He tells you what he is going to do to solve a problem, and then he gets the job done. All of us who care about California’s natural resources will miss him. Steve, I want to congratulate you on your years of remarkable service to our Nation’s fish and wildlife and the people who value them. I hope you can now en-joy a little fishing and a few quiet moments to contemplate what you have so honorably protected.

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov