WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today presented the Department of the Interior's Cooperative Conservation Award to 21 finalists at an event that marked "a fitting start to a week of Earth Day activities" in the nation's capital.
Presented at a ceremony at the Department of the Interior's main building in Washington, the 21 awards recognized the work of more than 700 groups and individuals who achieved excellence in conservation through collaboration and partnerships.
"These outstanding partnerships and cooperative efforts represent a fundamental way in which our Department provides stewardship for America with integrity and excellence," Secretary Kempthorne said. "They embody a broad spectrum of conservation work from restoring wetlands, rangelands and mine lands to protecting wildlife, conserving water and fighting invasive species to teaching conservation values to the next generation."
The Department of the Interior's Cooperative Conservation Award program recognizes conservation achievements resulting from the cooperation and participation of individual landowners, citizen groups, private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and federal, state, local, and/or tribal governments.
"This is a fitting start to a week of Earth Day activities," the Secretary told the crowd at the main Interior auditorium. "If anyone were to ask me why America is the world leader in conservation of natural resources, I would simply point to the people in this auditorium. You are the spirit and you are the hands of cooperative conservation."
The list of 21 award-winning partnerships follows:
List of Partnership Awards:
- Great Northern Environmental Stewardship Area (Montana)
- Hooper Bay Subsistence ATV Trail Project Partnership (Alaska)
- Mount Rainier Recovery Initiative (Washington)
- Mr. Tavita Togia, National Park of American Samoa (American Samoa)
- Mark A. Benedict, The Conservation Fund (posthumous) (West Virginia)
- East Bay Wetland and Water Quality Protection Project (Texas)
- Matanuska-Susitna Salmon Habitat Conservation Partnership (Alaska)
- Northern Forest Woodcock Initiative (New England and New York)
- Penobscot River Restoration Trust (Maine)
- Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming)
- San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program (Colorado, New Mexico)
- Arizona Bald Eagle Nestwatch Program/Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee (Arizona)
- Alabama Hills Stewardship Group (California)
- Animas River Stakeholders Group (Colorado)
- Jupiter Inlet Working Group (Florida)
- Milsap Mill Tailings Restoration Partnership (Colorado)
- Restore New Mexico Partnership (New Mexico)
- Willamette River Water Trail Partnership (Oregon)
- University of Alaska Fairbanks / Minerals Management Service Coastal Marine Institute (Alaska)
- Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program (California, Nevada, Arizona)
- South Arkansas Sparta Aquifer Recovery (Arkansas)
- Upper San Pedro Partnership (Arizona)
Press releases on the individual awards can be found at http://www.doi.gov/news.html.