Conservation Science Group Announces Winners of Annual Conservation Awards

Ashland, OR    Five exemplary individuals and organizations that led the way in 2007 in protecting life on earth were honored recently by the National Center for Conservation Science & Policy.  “The world is a measurably better place because of the efforts of our most recent Conservation Award winners,” said Matthew McMcKinnon, Vice President the Board of Directors of the National Center.

Senator Ron Wyden, for his work on endangered species, and State Representative Peter Buckley, for his 100% Oregon League of Conservation Voters record, were recognized with the National Center’s 2007 Conservation Integrity Award.  The Seattle Office of Earthjustice, for their success in protecting salmon, steelhead and old-growth forests, and Randi Spivak, for her work with grassroots coalitions in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the nation, received 2007 Conservation Leadership Awards.  The Williams Creek Watershed Council was recognized with the 2007 Headwaters Heritage Award to honor their efforts to restore local streams to support returning salmon and steelhead.

“It takes extraordinary commitment from Washington, D.C., to our own backyards to make sure our children and grandchildren are going to be able to enjoy a healthy planet,” said Cindy Deacon Williams, Senior Scientist with the National Center.  “This year’s honorees have demonstrated outstanding leadership, determination and integrity in their efforts to secure the opportunity for future generations to enjoy Oregon’s natural treasures.

Contact Information for 2007 Conservation Award Winner’s:

Molly McCarthy-Skundrick, Field Rep, Senator Wyden’s Medford Field Office, (541) 858-5122

State Representative Peter Buckley (D-Ashland), (541) 488-9180

Todd True, Managing Attorney, Earthjustice – Seattle, (206) 343-7340 ext. 30

Randi Spivak, Executive Director, American Lands Alliance, (202) 547-9400

Arthur Sherman, Williams Creek Watershed Council, (541) 846-9175

Fact Sheet – 2007 GEOS Institute Conservation Awards

The GEOS Institute is a non-profit conservation science & policy organization with a mission of creating science-based solutions to protect and restore the life processes and ecological vitality that sustain all lands, waters and communities.  With our Conservation Awards, the National Center recognizes exemplary individuals, organizations, and institutions that have taken bold steps in protecting our natural heritage.

Conservation Integrity Award (Given to a government official from any of the three branches of government who reached or negotiated an important natural resource decision that reflected a clear understanding of the implications of the relevant science on resource policy)

  • Senator Ron Wyden, D-Oregon

Senator Ron Wyden was honored for his exemplary leadership during 2007 in protecting the nation’s endangered species.  Of particular note are Senator Wyden’s actions last year to place a hold on the Lavity nomination, his request that the Interior Inspector General look into allegations that the administration tampered with 14 additional endangered species decisions beyond those addressed by Interior Secretary Kempthorne, and his efforts to ensure congressional oversight hearings on Department of Interior reforms.

Senator Wyden’s work on endangered species, particularly the controversy over political interference in the spotted owl recovery plan, demonstrated commendable leadership.

  • State Representative Peter Buckley, D-Ashland (District 5)

State Representative Peter Buckley was recognized for his extraordinary legislative work on behalf of Oregon’s natural resources.  Last year, State Representative Buckley not only was present for all the critical votes on issues related to air and water quality, fish and wildlife, land use, recycling, special places, energy and climate change, in casting those votes he improved his Oregon League of Conservation Voters record to 100%.

2007 Conservation Leadership Award (Given to an individual or organization who’s extraordinary efforts used credible science to make a real difference in protecting and restoring the life processes and ecological vitality that sustain all lands, waters and communities)

  • Seattle office of Earth Justice (12 person staff: Patti Goldman, Todd True, Kristen Boyles, Shaun Goho, Jan Hasselman, Steve Mashuda, Joshua Osborne-Klein, Catherine Hamborg, Cheryl McEvoy, Lisa Lange, Sandy Wagner and John McManus)

The Seattle office of Earth Justice was honored for their use of credible science to secure landmark legal victories during 2007 that measurably improved or restored protections for Pacific salmon and steelhead and old growth ecosystems.  Their most important legal victories last year were achieved in cases involving the Aquatic Conservation Strategy of the Northwest Forest Plan, Endangered Species Act status for Pacific salmon, salmon hatchery policy, Bureau of Reclamation operations in the Klamath Basin, and logging in Southern Oregon.

  • Randi Spivak, American Lands Alliance

Randi Spivak was honored for her exemplary leadership in working with grassroots coalitions in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the nation to protect the nation’s federal forest lands.  Particularly noteworthy have been her efforts over the past seven years to uphold the protective elements of the Northwest Forest Plan, including helping to expose short-comings in the spotted owl recovery plan and murrelet critical habitat determination; injecting old-growth protections into the Healthy Forest Restoration Act in 2003; helping to stop the salvage bill in 2006; and introducing conservation principles into thinning legislation in 2007.

2007 Headwaters Heritage Award (Given to an individual or community organization from anywhere in the world whose on-the-ground work made a real difference in the protection and restoration of the ecological vitality of the place where they live)

  • Williams Creek Watershed Council

The Williams Creek Watershed Council was honored for their exemplary efforts to restore and protect fish habitat in the Williams Creek Watershed.  The Council has effectively bridged landowner and water right holder concerns, developed and creatively funded an ambitious slate of habitat restoration projects, and worked diligently to improve river conditions.

Selection Criteria

Nominees are judged based on the degree to which they promote or enhance scientifically credible public policies, management decisions, and societal conservation ethics that maintain and improve ecosystem integrity.  Specifically, nominees display most or all of the following values:

  • Solution oriented: promote science-based solutions to the important natural resource issues of our time; work with unlikely allies and search in non-traditional places to find those solutions.
  • Science-based: develop and/or rely upon rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific information
  • People Matter: demonstrate a care for ecosystems and people, putting credible science forward in a way that is accessible to non-scientists and creating solutions that address ecological, economic and social aspects of resource conflicts
  • Results Driven: focus on being effective and efficient in achieving resource protection and restoration
  • Honest and Accountable: exhibit responsibility in ensuring positions are scientifically credible, and transparency in communicating their ethical foundation
  • Collaborative: embrace a “we” perspective (no “us” or “them”); work with all people of goodwill to resolve natural resource conflicts

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