Secretary Salazar Presents the John W. Keys, III Partnership Training Program with Partners in Conservation Award

Last edited 09/29/2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today presented a Partners in Conservation Award to the John W. Keys III Partnership Program for cultivating a more efficient working relationship among the Bureau of Reclamation in the Pacific Northwest, the Oregon Water Resource Congress and several Oregon and Idaho irrigation districts. The Keys program fosters a good working relationship communications on an interagency basis with the shared goal of delivering water more efficiently.

It was one of 26 national awards to individuals and organizations presented at a ceremony at Interior headquarters in Washington, D.C. to honor “those who achieve natural resource goals in collaboration and partnership with others.”

The 26 Partners in Conservation Awards recognize conservation achievements resulting from the cooperation and participation of a total of 600 individuals and organizations including landowners; citizens' groups; private sector and nongovernmental organizations; and federal, state, local, and/or tribal governments.

“The Partners in Conservation Awards demonstrate that our greatest conservation legacies often emerge when stakeholders, agencies, and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds come together to address shared challenges,” the Secretary said. “The John W. Keys III Partnership Training Program is a superb example of an interagency partnership. Through the vision and collaborative efforts of the Bureau of Reclamation and its partners, this program breaks down barriers to foster improved working relationships while allowing for more efficient service to the population they serve.”

Spearheaded by Reclamation employee Susan Tholen, within the Pacific Northwest Region in cooperation with Reclamation's Lower Columbia Area Office and the Snake River Area Office and Regional Office and through the encouragement of the late John W. Keys, former Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, the program's objective is to allow for new Reclamation employees and the participating Oregon and Idaho irrigation districts to understand, discuss, and resolve water issues.

“These 26 awards recognize the dedicated efforts of thousands of people from all walks of life, from across our nation– and from across our borders with Canada and Mexico,” Salazar noted. “They celebrate partnerships that conserve and restore our nation's treasured landscapes and watersheds, partnerships that engage Native American communities, and partnerships that engage youth.”

The following groups and individuals share the Partners in Conservation Award:

Bureau of Reclamation

Susan Tholen

Oregon Water Resources Congress

Anita Winkler

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