Secretary Salazar Presents the Apache Trout Habitat Restoration Project 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 Apache Trout Habitat Restoration project for their work on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona.

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. Fish and Wildlife Service and White Mountain Apache Tribe's Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation Department have done a tremendous job protecting the Apache trout fish, a threatened species, and improving the health and vigor of the ponderosa pine, which is commercially important for the Apache Tribe.”

The Apache trout is found exclusively within the White Mountains of Arizona with more than 50 percent of that range located on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. The FWS and the tribe have collaborated to improve habitat using tree logs that were thinned from a ponderosa pine stand. Trees that were designated to be removed were limbed and bucked leaving a 10-foot butt log on the ground for use by the fisheries biologists. Approximately 300 logs were removed from the ponderosa pine stand and used in the Apache Trout restoration. Samples have already show Apache Trout using these log structures In addition, the health and vigor of a ponderosa pine stand was improved.

“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 participants in the Apache Trout Habitat Restoration Project include

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Dino Manuel

Ronald Miller
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Marty Underwood

Jeremy Voeltz
White Mountain Apache Tribe Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation Department

Tim Gatewood

Matt Rustin

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