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USFWS Awards Three Endangered Species Recovery Champions in Alaska

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced today the
recipients of the Service’s 2011 Recovery Champion awards. These awards
recognize Service employees and their partners for contributions to the
recovery of threatened and endangered species. Two U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service Alaska Region employees, and an arctic Borough that has been a
valuable partner to the Service in Alaska, were among those honored.

Jennifer Reed of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge, and Susi Miller of our Marine Mammals Management program,
were recognized for efforts that further the conservation of polar bears;
and the North Slope Borough received an award for its work with Alaska
Region personnel for the benefit of species ranging from Steller’s eiders
to polar bears.

For more than 10 years, Jennifer Reed and Susi Miller have played critical
roles in supporting the efforts of Alaska’s northern coast communities to
address potential polar bear-human conflicts, rather than attempting to
implement a government-designed approach.  Through non-lethal hazing
techniques, the program has reduced the numbers of polar bears that enter
area villages, thereby reducing the number of the animals that are at risk
of being killed for human safety reasons. In addition, improved community
relationships have allowed Ms. Reed and Ms. Miller to expand their
conservation work by assisting local communities in the development of
commercial polar bear viewing guidelines and by soliciting local
involvement in oil spill response planning efforts relating to the species.

The North Slope Borough has also tackled the problem of polar bears
entering coastal villages by implementing a human-polar bear conflict
avoidance program which has reduced the number of the animals killed in the
interest of public safety.  In addition, the Borough contributes to
threatened Steller’s and spectacled eider recovery by collaborating with
the Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Bureau of Land Management,
and North Slope residents to implement outreach programs designed to
eliminate the take of listed eiders and stop the use of lead shot.

Geoffrey L. Haskett, the Service’s Alaska Regional Director, praised these
accomplishments, saying, “Partnerships are at the core of virtually
everything our agency does, and indeed it is only by working with others
that we can be most effective in our efforts to recover listed species. The
natural resources in our charge are fortunate to have individuals and
organizations like Jennifer, Susi and the North Slope Borough pulling
together to preserve our at-risk species.”

Information on all of this year’s Recovery Champions can be found at:
http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/recovery-champions/index.html.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to
conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats
for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and
trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific
excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated
professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on
our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with
our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at
www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at
http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq

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