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News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces 2015 Endangered Species Recovery Champions

Colorado Biologist, and Former Montana Project Manager Honored by Mountain-Prairie Region

For Immediate Release

May 20, 2016

Alex Diekmann, The Trust for Public Lands, 2015 USFWS Recovery Champion honoree.
2015 Recovery Champion honoree Alex Diekmann holding a brown trout from the O’Dell Creek in Madison Valley, Mont.

DENVER, Colo. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today recognizes two individuals and teams for their exceptional efforts to conserve and protect the nation’s rarest fish, wildlife, and plants by designating them as 2015 Recovery Champions. Among the award winners are a supervisory biologist from the Service’s Grand Junction, Colo. Office, and a Bozeman, Mont. senior project manager for The Trust for Public Land, who is being honored posthumously.

“Conserving our nation’s imperiled species is one of the toughest challenges of our time,” says U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “The recipients of this award have dedicated their lives to this task and we are eternally grateful for their tenacity, dedication and passion for safeguarding hundreds of species of native wildlife and the wild places they call home.”

Supervisory Biologist Gina Glenne is being recognized for her leadership in preventing the extinction and working toward the recovery of Colorado’s listed plants. Ms. Glenne has worked tirelessly to better our understanding of 16 plant species occurring in the Centennial State and improve the status of these species. Under her leadership, the recovery team has located new populations of the Colorado hookless cactus and Penland alpine fen mustard, established state of the art monitoring for North Park phacelia, and secured on-the-ground protection for Pagosa skyrocket and parachute beardtongue, among others.

Glenne is applauded for her consistent vision of what is necessary to achieve the recovery of these plant species, and maintaining the highest standards for scientific rigor by inviting the open sharing of different perspectives and expertise throughout all aspects of recovery planning and implementation. Gina’s efforts have filled in critical gaps in our knowledge of the species as well as helped to secure their long-term viability and protection. She is credited for forming and strengthening partnerships, and advancing inventory, monitoring, taxonomic research, and conservation goals.

The Trust for Public Land Senior Project Manager Alex Diekmann (DEEK-man) is being recognized for his leadership in protecting and conserving threatened and endangered species and their habitats in the State of Montana. Mr. Diekmann spearheaded efforts to protect this unique ecosystem from development, aiding in the recovery of species while ensuring public access to these great lands.  His work represents an extraordinary contribution to species recovery as he led multi­partner, landscape-level efforts to protect more than 100,000 acres of habitat for species including grizzly bear, bull trout, and Canada lynx throughout the Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone ecosystems in western Montana, with a particular focus on lands providing key wildlife linkage zones.

Alex’s charisma, tenacity, and thoughtful approach to conservation brought together various interests in support of habitat protection resulting in the permanent protection of countless precious landscapes while ensuring public access, protecting water supplies, and maintaining the forested mountain setting.

“The dedication, determination, and diplomacy of both of our Recovery Champions have been a tremendous benefit to the Mountain-Prairie Region,” says Regional Director Noreen Walsh. “Once again, they have shown us through collaboration, we can leverage our efforts and resources to do more together for the plants, animals, and their surroundings, than we can individually. Their accomplishments will be enjoyed by all Americans for years to come.”

The Recovery Champion awards program began in 2002 as a one-time recognition for Service staff members for their achievements in conserving listed species. However, in 2007, the program was expanded to honor Service partners as well, recognizing their essential role in the recovery of threatened and endangered species. For information about the 2015 Recovery Champions, please visit: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/recovery-champions/index.html.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/USFWSMountainPrairie,  follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSMtnPrairie, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/.

– FWS –

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of External Affairs

Mountain-Prairie Region

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228


303-236-3815 FAX



Serena Baker
(303) 236-4588

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: May 20, 2016
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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