A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Secretary Salazar Presents Coast Salish-USGS Water Quality Project with Partners in Conservation Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today presented a Partners in Conservation Award to the Coast Salish-USGS Tribal Journey Water Quality Project for their work in the Salish Sea, Puget Sound and Georgia Basin.
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 U.S. Geological Survey teamed up with the Coast Salish Nation to use a traditional annual canoe journey to help in efforts to study water quality and improve coastal marine resources. This is a most symbolic partnership because salmon are more than food to the Coast Salish. The salmon is integral to their cultural identity; in fact, their annual calendar of events, subsistence and cultural rituals revolve around the life history of the salmon.”
Each year, Coast Salish families paddle hundreds of miles by canoe to a common destination to celebrate their heritage. In 2008, with the aid of trained water quality technicians and USGS scientists, the families towed water quality probes along a number of their pathways and provided the data in real time to USGS. The study spanned international borders, cultures, science disciplines and interest groups. In its first year, the effort generated more than 42,000 water-quality data points along 570 miles of ancestral waterways.
“These 26 awards recognize the dedicated efforts of 600 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 individuals from USGS and tribal representatives shared the Coastal Salish-
USGS Tribal Journey Water Quality award. They were nominated by Cynthia
Barton, Director of the USGS Washington Water Science Center in Tacoma, Washington.
COAST SALISH PROJECT PARTICIPANTS
Coast Salish Gathering Steering Committee
Debra Lekanof Homalco Nation
Darren Blaney Skokomish Indian Tribe
Michael Pavel Squaxin Island Tribe
Joe Seymour Stolo Nation
Keith Point Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
Tara Tisdale U.S. Geological Survey
Paul Schuster Others
Clinton Charlie, Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group
Jon Waterhouse, Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council