August 18, 2000
Contact: Colleen Freeze, (360) 902-2222
Fish and Wildlife Commission honors citizens, groups for outstanding conservation achievements
Individuals and organizations that have made notable contributions to the stewardship of state fish and wildlife resources and habitats have been honored with awards from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Some of this year's director's awards are being given retroactively for accomplishments in 1997 and 1998, in an effort by the agency to re-establish the longtime awards program after a brief hiatus.
Winners include landowners, educators, organizations and volunteers, and were nominated by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff. The following are being recognized for their work in the past three years:
Educator of the Year awards
- 1997: John Munn of Everett: In both his personal life and as Washington State University Extension naturalist, Munn has worked to help youth and adults understand and appreciate the natural world. He has worked with 4-H, initiated a long-standing educational contest at fairs, developed a credit course for teachers of environmental education and started the National Amphitheater for Education Program, involving 125,000 people in outdoor programs since 1972.
- 1998: Jeanene Campbell of Shelton: For several years, teacher Jeanene Campbell has worked to educate the public in Mason County about water quality and wildlife habitat. In addition to working with the Mason County Conservation District, she has organized a variety of educational events, including Waterweeks, Oysterfest, pasture management presentations and outdoor high school field trips.
- 1999: Bob Boye of Edmonds: Known among his peers as the father of the "Salmon in the Classroom" program, since 1979 Boye has been studying and rearing salmon with his students in the classroom. He has written manuals for teachers, community partners and students, with a focus on habitat. Over the years, Boye has done approximately 650 projects involving 25,000 students and raising an estimated 1.5 million salmon.
Volunteer of the Year awards
- 1997: Dick Fournier of Port Angeles: A retired commercial fisher, Fournier put his strong interest in the wellbeing of fish and wildlife resources to work helping with the Dungeness Hatchery Complex. He has helped the WDFW Outreach and Education Division. He volunteers physical labor and mobilizes crews of volunteers for individual projects.
- 1997: Johnny Johnston of Dayton: After severe flooding in the winters of 1995 and 1996 damaged public and private property in southeast Washington, WDFW had to require Hydraulic Project Approval permits for restoration work and faced much landowner opposition. Johnston lent his interpersonal skills, hard work and dedication as he volunteered to help landowners with riparian restoration, a key permit requirement; the result was landowner acceptance in re-establishing woody vegetation on streambanks.
- 1998: Ed Schaplow of Lynnwood: Schaplow began his volunteer service as an advanced Hunter Education participant. He used his extensive farming experience to help WDFW plant 165 acres of barley for Island Segment waterfowl enhancement, resulting in food for thousands of ducks and excellent hunting opportunities for waterfowl hunters in the Skagit Wildlife Area.
- 1999: Marian and Russell Frobe of Spokane: The Frobes volunteered more than 500 hours during the past three summers working on bird research and conservation programs in Spokane and participated in a nationwide bird banding project. They also help at the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, where Marian is president of the friends' group.
- 1999: Larry Lufkin of Olympia: A hunter education teacher and advocate, Lufkin has donated countless hours providing support, leadership, direction and management of a hunter education course in western Washington. He trains instructors, develops courses and conducts a fundraiser each year to pay for the program.
Landowner of the Year awards
- 1997: Max Fernandez of Centerville: Fernandez, a sheep rancher in Klickitat County, responded to proposed habitat restoration efforts on his ranch and has offered tours of his ranch to show the public what can be done to promote conservation on private property.
- 1997: Lewis River Ranch, Ridgefield: This partnership of families owns 480 acres on the East Fork of the Lewis River in Clark County, an area of booming growth. The owners actively maintain riparian, off-channel and wetland habitat on their property for the production of steelhead trout, chinook and coho salmon and other species, directly contributing to East Fork fishing opportunities.
- 1999: Atlantic Richfield Corporation: ARCO has leased approximately 1,000 acres in the Blaine area to WDFW for public recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat enhancement and development since 1990. In order to protect the largest blue heron rookery in Washington, ARCO donated land to the Whatcom Land Trust.
Organization of the Year awards
- 1997: Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group, Blaine: Since it was founded in 1991, this group has contributed technical assistance in the restoration of Skagit wild chinook and coho stock, worked on nutrient improvement, conducted surveys of chum salmon carcasses which provide eagle food, completed major habitat restoration work at several sites, raised $490,000 in grants to restore watersheds and spent hundreds of hours replanting riparian vegetation.
- 1999: Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group, Belfair: This group has long been a leader in salmon recovery. They developed partnerships and got funding for remedies to fish passage barriers, participated in inventory and monitoring, made presentations to Congress, the Legislature, agencies and the tribes, have developed community-based watershed stewardship programs and have offered scholarships and paid summer internships for students with an interest in preservation of wild salmon.
- 1999: Fish First, Woodland: This group has completed five major projects to restore habitat on the Cedar Creek and creek tributary systems. These include bank restoration, trees and ground cover planting, fencing and bridge installation to prohibit livestock from accessing the water, and installation of root wads and logs into the stream to improve fish habitat. In addition, Fish First continues to distribute fish carcasses into local watershed for nutrient enhancement; sponsors and provides volunteers for the annual Special Kids Derby at Merwin Hatchery for disabled children from Vancouver/Portland-area hospitals; and operates net pens in the North Fork of the Lewis River and in Merwin Reservoir.