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North Florida Field Office

Jacksonville Biologist Selected as a
2006 National Recovery Champio

For Immediate Release

Release # 002-07

March 23, 2007

Media Contact: Chuck Underwood, 904-731-3332

Jim Valade, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and recovery lead for the Florida manatee, poses with the Director's 2006 Recovery Champion Award.

Jim Valade, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and recovery lead for the Florida manatee, poses with the Director's 2006 Recovery Champion Award. (USFWS Photo)

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall announced the sixteen recipients of the Service's 2006 National Recovery Champion award. Among those selected was Jim Valade, a fish and wildlife biologist, with the Service's Ecological Services Office in Jacksonville, FL..

The Service's award recognizes exceptional individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the recovery of native plants and animals federally-listed under the Endangered Species Act (Act).

Valade has spent much of the past 20 years dedicated to various aspects of Service's Florida manatee recovery efforts including capturing and tagging manatees for critical research needs, rescuing injured animals from entanglement or watercraft-related injuries, to providing public outreach and education.

The Director noted in the citation accompanying the award that Valade's "...accomplishments in developing partnerships with both the scientific community and highly diverse groups of stakeholders have significantly leveraged the contributions of each to further recovery progress for the species."

Valade serves as a recovery liaison and Service representative to the Service's Manatee Recovery and Implementation Team Steering Committee, as Co-chair of the Protection Working Group, the Warm Water Task Force, the Manatee Population Status Working Group, and Florida's Springs Task Force.

Hall concluded in the citation that as a Recovery Champion, Valade's "...contributions extend far beyond individual species, habitats, and ecosystems and inspire others to promote species recovery - now and into the future."

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 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 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 and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

- FWS -


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Last modified March 23, 2007

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