Watershed Stewards Project receives national award

Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

The U.S. Forest Service has presented its "Rise to the Future" award for excellence in fisheries management to the California Conservation Corps' Watershed Stewards Project (WSP). The award is in recognition of WSP's work done in partnership with the Forest Service over 18 years.

Fortuna-based WSP Project Director Carrie Lewis and Six Rivers National Forest Fisheries Biologist Andrea Collins flew to Washington, D.C., last week to accept the award, which is given annually to Forest Service partners across the country which shows extraordinary efforts to improve fisheries resources on National Forest lands.

Lewis said it was a great honor to travel to the nation's capital to receive this prestigious award. "It was incredible, and yet fitting, to receive this award in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., where I stood, representing eighteen years of national service with WSP," Lewis said.

She is pleased with the well-deserved recognition WSP efforts is receiving, and added, "Award presenters were amazed at the culmination of work WSP members have accomplished over the years and greatly impressed with WSP's enduring partnerships with watershed groups throughout its existence."

Six Rivers national Forest Supervisor Tyrone Kelley said, "The 'Rise to the Future' award was given to the Watershed Stewards Project in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the National Forest fisheries and aquatic resource programs." He added, "They have played an integral role in maintaining viable restoration and monitoring programs that benefit salmon and steelhead."

WSP is a project of the California Conservation Corps and was established in 1994 as a comprehensive, community-based watershed restoration and education program. Its mission is to conserve, restore, and enhance anadromous watersheds for future generations.

The Watershed Stewards Project will partner with the Six Rivers National Forest next month on a project to decommission and rebuild a section of the trail adjacent to the mouth of Elk River and Humboldt Bay. That volunteer work day is scheduled for July 21.

photo caption:

photos by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Watershed Stewards Project member Bonnie Bennett measures a Chinook salmon along a tributary to the Trinity River near Willow Creek in the Lower Trinity Ranger District of the Six Rivers National Forest.