Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces Recovery Champions in California

May 24, 2021

Contact(s):

 Jane Hendron – jane_hendron@fws.gov



Carlsbad, Calif. On Endangered Species Day, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service celebrated the contributions and achievements of our nationally recognized Recovery Champions. These individuals and groups have devoted themselves to recovering endangered and threatened animals and plants.

This year, Jim DeForge, director of the Bighorn Institute, and the members of the Amargosa vole team have been honored for their efforts to promote the recovery of the endangered Peninsular Ranges population of bighorn sheep and the Amargosa vole.

“The work of Jim DeForge and the members of the vole team highlight the importance we place on our partners to help recover endangered species,” said Scott Sobiech, field supervisor of the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office. “Partners are a key component in helping our agency achieve its mission and I want to thank the 2020 Recovery Champions for their outstanding contributions to recovery.”

Jim DeForge –

The Bighorn Institute in Palm Desert, California, has been instrumental in guiding numerous efforts to conserve Peninsular bighorn sheep and the Institute has been a significant part of the Service’s recovery program since the species was listed in 1998. In 1982, DeForge founded the Institute with a focus on conserving bighorn populations in the Northern Santa Rosa Mountains and San Jacinto Mountains through research to counteract the effects of a disease epidemic that had decimated bighorn numbers in these areas. In 1984, the Institute began a captive breeding and population augmentation program to reverse these population declines. Since then the Institute has released 127 captive-reared bighorn to the wild.

Amargosa Vole Team -

Since 2013, the vole team has coordinated to implement a wide range of actions to address acute population and habitat declines and improve the species’ recovery outlook. The vole team’s accomplishments include restoration of degraded critical habitat, establishment of a captive breeding program, translocations of voles to improve distribution and population viability; and development of a Safe Harbor Agreement that will establish new habitat for the species on private lands.

Members of the vole team include: Dr. Deana Clifford and Steve Parmenter, California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Brian Croft, Scott Hoffman and Christiana Manville, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Chris Otahal and Amy Fesnock, Bureau of Land Management; Dr. Robert Klinger, U.S. Geological Survey; Dr. Janet Foley, University of California – Davis; Susan Sorrells, Shoshone Village; and Tonya Henderson, Amargosa Conservancy.

The Recovery Champion awards 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 photos and information about the 2020 Recovery Champions, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/recovery-champions/index.html

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit the California-Great Basin website or connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

 

                                                                                                                            -FWS-


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 www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.