Charlie Wooley, Restoration Champion, Receives Interior's Distinguished Service Award at Ceremony in Washington, DC

Last edited 09/03/2020

Deputy Secretary David Hayes, Secretary Ken Salazar, Charlie Wooley
Charlie Wooley (on right) is presented the Distinguished Service Award citation and certificate by (left to right) Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Secretary Ken Salazar on March 7 at the Department of the Interior's 68th Honor Awards Convocation in Washington, DC. Photo credit: FWS.

On March 7, 2012 Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Deputy Secretary David J. Hays presented the Distinguished Service Award to Charles M. (“Charlie”) Wooley at the Department of the Interior's 68th Honor Awards Convocation held in the Sidney R. Yates Auditorium at the Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The Honor Awards Convocation honored 44 employees and volunteers for their service to the Department and to the nation.

The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honorary recognition an employee can receive from the Department. It is granted for an outstanding contribution to science, outstanding skill or ability in the performance of duty, outstanding contribution made during an eminent career in the Department or any other exceptional contribution to public service. Recipients of the Award receive a citation and a certificate signed by the Secretary, a Distinguished Service Award medal and a lapel pin.

Charlie Wooley is Deputy Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Midwest Region, also known as Region 3, covers eight Midwestern states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. A hallmark of his active leadership is his ability to build consensus and inspire members of the conservation community to apply common sense solutions to the Great Lakes' most difficult environmental challenges. He was instrumental in establishing the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, an innovative cooperative that restores fishery resources from losses caused by the operation of hydroelectric facilities.

The Department's Restoration Program has also benefited from his leadership skills, experience and insight. On behalf of the Department, he successfully negotiated one of the earliest, significant settlements for injuries to natural resources and natural resource services in Saginaw River, Michigan. His leadership contributed to successful negotiated settlements -- totaling over $100 million -- for natural resource injuries at Fox River/Green Bay, Wisconsin and at Grand Calumet River, Indiana.

From 2005 to 2007, Charlie was a Departmental representative and Sub-Committee Chairman to the Federal Advisory Committee chartered to provide recommendations to the Secretary on issues related the Department’s authorities, responsibilities and implementation of natural resource damages provisions in federal law. This Federal Advisory Committee included 30 diverse members from federal government, state government, Tribes, industry, consultants, environmental groups and academic institutions. The Committee’s Final Report -- a unanimous consensus product -- recommended actions to reduce case disputes, to focus on cooperation and restoration, to refine technical tools and to implement restoration more effectively. The Committee’s recommendations led to the 2008 revisions to the 43 CFR Part 11 regulations and guide and influence the Restoration Program’s practices today.

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