Reclamation Garners National Recognition as ‘Partners in Conservation'

Media Contact: Rose Davis, 702-293-8421

For Release: October 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes today announced the 2012 Partners in Conservation Awards at a ceremony at the Department of the Interior’s national headquarters.

“The Partners in Conservation Awards provide wonderful examples of how America’s greatest conservation legacies are created when agencies and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds work together,” said Hayes. “These awards recognize dedicated people from across our nation who collaborate to conserve and restore America’s Great Outdoors, to encourage youth involvement in conservation and to address a wide variety of issues.”

“The Bureau of Reclamation is proud to be honored for outstanding projects this year,” said Commissioner Michael L. Connor. “We collaborate with our stakeholders throughout the West every day, and to have two projects nationally recognized for their impacts in collaboration, science, ecology and water management is a outstanding testament to the hard work of our employees.”

In Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region, Partners in Conservation Awards were earned by two teams. The partners involved in the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study (Study), which includes federal, state, Native American Tribes and communities, conservation and recreation organizations, and others were honored for their efforts to ensure the sustainability of the Colorado River system. As a part of the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART initiative, this Study is an unprecedented collective effort by Reclamation, the seven Colorado River Basin States, and a broad range of stakeholders throughout the basin. The Study will present findings of the potential future range of water supply and demand imbalances over the next 50 years and various possible strategies to resolve those imbalances. The Study is scheduled for release in late November.

A second award for the Lower Colorado Region was bestowed on the program leaders from the Region’s unique Lower Colorado Multi-Species Conservation Program (LCR MSCP) in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for the Hart Mine Restoration Project. The recipients are Mike Oldham with the USFWS Cibola National Wildlife Refuge; Rodney Winch from Reclamation’s Provo Area Office; and Gregg Garnett, Project Leader in the LCR MSCP for the Hart Mine Restoration Project.

Implemented by the Bureau of Reclamation in 2005, The LCR MSCP is a 50-year endeavor that encompasses 3 western states that use water from the lower Colorado River. Over fifty members of the LCR MSCP represent state, federal, and private interests from California, Arizona and Nevada. One of the primary goals of the LCR MSCP is the creation of habitats for 26 species included in the program, including species listed in under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The Hart Mine Marsh Restoration Project added 255 acres of marsh habitat to the LCR MSCP; accounting for nearly half of the program’s total marsh habitat goal. Hart Mine Marsh habitat is already being used by an endangered species, as well as many other resident and migratory wildlife. The project’s documented success has positive implications meeting the requirements of the ESA, securing water resources, and protecting and enhancing natural resources as well as providing new opportunities for educational outreach, scientific research, and outdoor recreation.

“The Hart Mine Marsh Restoration Project represents a successful, productive partnership within the context of a much larger program, giving it far-reaching implications and impact,” said Lower Colorado Regional Director Terrance J. Fulp. “The partnership between the USFWS Refuge managers and the LCR MSCP, and the productive working relationships of the Colorado River Basin Study demonstrate the innovation and best practices for collaboration and communication by our employees across many areas of Lower Colorado River management.

John Swett, Program Manager for the LCR MSCP, and Restoration Group Manager Terry Murphy were also recognized for their program leadership as Partners in Conservation.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.