Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Endangered Species Recovery Champion Awards
Pacific Region winners honored for their Willamette Valley, Oregon, prairie restoration efforts

March 25, 2010


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould today announced the 18 recipients of the Service’s 2009 Recovery Champion award. The Recovery Champion award recognizes U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees and their partners for contributions to the recovery of threatened and endangered species in the United States.

“The Recovery Champion award both recognizes the exceptional conservation accomplishments of its honorees and highlights the importance of strong and diverse partnerships in species conservation,” said Gould. “Recovery Champions are helping imperiled species regain their place in the natural resources fabric of our country while focusing attention on the importance of conserving our nation’s biological heritage for future generations.”

The 2009 Recovery Champion honorees are working to benefit a range of endangered and threatened plants and animals. From whooping cranes to mussels, Service employees and partners such as universities, conservation agencies, and private organizations are devoting their resources to a shared mission. Habitat restoration, public awareness campaigns, and species’ monitoring programs are just a few examples of this year’s Recovery Champion honorees’ efforts.

In the Pacific Region, the Willamette Valley Prairie Restoration Team is being honored for its work in creating and implementing a landscape-level strategy to recover the Nelson’s checker-mallow, Bradshaw’s desert parsley, Willamette daisy, golden paintbrush and Fender’s blue butterfly and its host plant, Kincaid’s lupine.
The members of the team are Jock Beall, Jarod Jebousek, Nate Richardson, Chris Seal and Steve Smith, biologists with the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and Cat Brown, Mikki Collins, Jeff Dillon, Kate Norman and Rollie White, biologists in the Service’s Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office.

“Through a collaborative approach to large-scale conservation, this group has engaged partners in a shared mission to restore a biologically rich ecosystem in an area where the majority of land is privately owned and development pressures continue,” said Robyn Thorson, Director of the Service’s Pacific Region. “They have restored thousands of acres of habitat, doubled the Fender’s blue butterfly population and expanded seed-collections of native plants to ensure genetic diversity.  These achievements reflect the trust of private landowners and the participation of a range of stakeholders.”

For additional information, please visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Recovery Champion website at:

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