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The Mountain-Prairie Region


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228


Contact: Sharon Rose (303) 236-7917 x415


President Bush awarded Dr. Ralph Morgenweck, Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 8-state Mountain-Prairie Region, the 2001 Presidential Rank Award for his dedication, commitment and exceptional performance while in the service of the government. The Presidential Rank Award is the government’s highest award for civil servants.

A total of 344 government employees from various backgrounds received the Presidential Rank Award. At a ceremony at Washington’s Constitution Hall last week, President Bush said, "Today we honor their exceptional performance. Their work covers a tremendous range of issues, yet they share some things in common: an outstanding work ethic, commitment to public service, and pride in a job well done."

Morgenweck, recognized for his innovative approaches to fish and wildlife management in over 22 years of government service, was instrumental in developing partnerships on three large river systems that affect 13 western states. The Colorado, Platte, and Missouri Rivers generate hundreds of millions of dollars of hydroelectric power, provide drinking water for millions of people, irrigate more than 4 million acres of farmland and offer a variety of recreational opportunities and economic benefits. These three rivers also sustain a variety of wildlife, including 12 species on the Federal list of endangered species. These partnerships include Federal, state, local and tribal governments, water user entities, utility companies and nonprofit environmental groups. With Morgenweck’s leadership, these groups developed a shared vision and clearly agreed upon goals and action plans. Washington leaders continue to support these projects as they provide clear mutual gain for all parties.

The 344 recipients of the Presidential Rank Award will receive a lump-sum payment based on a percent of their base pay, a gold or silver pin, and a framed certificate signed by the President.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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