John Zablocki, TU's Lahontan Conservation Coordinator, and Cindy Noble, president of the Feather River TU Chapter, join Gary Scoppettone of the USGS in accepting the Partners in Conservation Award.
Trout Unlimited and the U.S Geological Survey were recently honored by the Department of the Interior (DOI) for their roles in the Restoring Threatened and Endangered Fishes of the Truckee River Watershed Partnership.
On February 13 in Truckee, California, DOI officials presented the Partners in Conservation Award to TU and Gary Scoppettone of the USGS for their involvement in the effort to protect native Lahontan cutthroat in Independence Lake and to restore Lahontans throughout the Little Truckee River watershed.
Dave Lass, California Field Director for TU, praised TU Science staff and the Feather River, Sagebrush, and Truckee River chapters for their contributions to Lahontan cutthroat restoration throughout the greater Truckee River watershed. "TU's local chapters and staff play an important role in the broad partnership of agencies and conservation groups working to bring back the only trout native to the western Great Basin and Eastern Sierra," Lass said. "This award illustrates that TU, and especially our grassroots in this area, deliver the considerable commitment, investment and talent that must be brought to the table in order to solve the complex challenges that are inherent in native trout restoration work."
John Zablocki, TU's Lahontan Conservation Coordinator, noted that while Gary Scoppettone and his team at the USGS deserve much of the credit for the Partners in Conservation Award, the Feather River TU chapter "has been a committed, long-time ally of Lahontan cutthroat restoration and recovery efforts in the Little Truckee River watershed." The chapter has obtained grants to commission three resource assessments of Lahontan cutthroat habitat in the Little Truckee headwaters, which will ultimately create the blueprint for a large-scale native trout recovery project in this watershed.
TU's Sagebrush Chapter, based in Reno, has also played a key role in Lahontan cutthroat restoration, contributing over $30,000 so far from the chapter's Kroening Endowment to support habitat and fish passage improvement projects in and around Independence Lake -- which hosts one of only two pure lacustrine populations of Lahontan cutthroat in the world.
The TU Truckee River has also pitched in to help restore Lahontans in the area, working with The Nature Conservancy to do pit-tagging of fish in Independence Lake.
Here is a link to the press release from USGS on the award: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=3785#.UwZ-NRZ_ifQ.
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