WASHINGTON, D.C. - At a ceremony in the nation’s capital today, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne recognized the Matanuska-Susitna Salmon Habitat Conservation Partnership as one of 21 recipients nationwide of the Department of the Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award.
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 award to the Matanuska-Susitna Salmon Habitat Conservation Partnership recognizes the partnership’s outstanding contributions to alleviating impacts on salmon habitat from human use and development in the Matanuska-Susitna basin. This effort has resulted in the development of a comprehensive conservation assessment of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley watersheds, which aims to increase fish-habitat protection, restoration, and enhancement in the area. This project has restored 3,450 feet of river channel and floodplain and improved more than 5 miles of access for Pacific salmon. The partnership also earned national recognition as one of four currently recognized partnerships under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan.
“The Matanuska-Susitna Salmon Conservation Partnership continues to serve as a model for future programs,”
The Department of the Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award 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.”
Matanuska-Susitna Salmon Habitat Conservation Partnership (Alaska)
Nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Alaska Center for the Environment
Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game
Alaska Dept. of Natural Resources
Alaska Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities
Alaska Outdoor Council
Alaska Railroad Corporation
Alaskans for Palmer Hay Flats
Aquatic Restoration & Research, Inc.
Bureau of Land Management
Chickaloon Village Traditional Council
ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc.
Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association
Friends of Mat-Su
Glacier Ridge Properties
Great Land Trust
Knik River Watershed Group
Matanuska River Watershed Coalition
National Park Service
Native Village of Eklutna
Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Nature Conservancy
NOAA Fisheries Service
Upper Susitna Soil & Water Conservation District
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Forest Service
U.S. Geological Survey
Wasilla Soil & Water Conservation District