FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2010
State DNR Biologist receives The Wildlife Society
Special Achievement Award
Fisher receives Washington Chapter Award for lynx research and protection
OLYMPIA – At the annual Washington Chapter of The Wildlife Society conference in mid-February, Scott Fisher, Washington State Department of Natural Resources Northeast Region Biologist, received the Special Achievement Award for his leadership and commitment to the success of a lynx research study, tracking lynx in northeast Washington.
The cooperative project has successfully collared and tracked by GPS satellite nine male lynx across broad areas of northeastern Washington. This four-year research is helping the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to design forest management activities to facilitate the creation and preservation of high quality lynx habitat on state trust lands.
“This prestigious award is well deserved by Scott,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “Scott has worked tirelessly, including on many weekends and holidays to help keep the lynx research project on track. His work and the work of our research partners will help all landowners in the region to help this at-risk species.”
Staff of the partner agencies in the lynx research—U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife—submitted Scott’s name for The Wildlife Society Special Achievement Award specifically for the effort Scott has given for this valuable research. Other partners in the research include the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Conservation Northwest, The Oregon Zoo, Seattle City Light, and numerous volunteers funded through the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA) grant program.
DNR has been implementing its Lynx Habitat Management Plan since 1996—a plan developed in response to the federal and state listing of the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) as threatened with extinction. The plan guides DNR’s forest management activities to help create and preserve high-quality lynx habitat. It allows DNR to meet state and federal requirements for protecting lynx, while at the same time managing the state trust lands to provide revenue through timber harvest, and meet its other land management obligations. This plan is arguably one of the most comprehensive conservation plans for lynx in the United States.
The current research objective is designed to provide DNR and other land managers with a better understanding of how lynx use certain habitats throughout the year, and how past and future land management activities may affect individual lynx and the overall lynx population in Washington. Scott spent long hours tracking the radio-collared animals, driving up to 60 miles a day on snowmobile, checking and repairing the lynx traps, and providing support in every way he could.
DNR has been a significant contributor to the cooperative research project on Canada lynx habitat use in Okanogan County since this study began in 2006. The agency has provided support in the form of dedicated staff that conduct the daily trapping and collaring activities, snowmobiles and fuel for accessing the study area, built and maintained live traps for capturing lynx, and other logistical support that is necessary in order to keep a very challenging endeavor moving successfully forward over four winter seasons.
DNR—land manager and natural resource protector
DNR, led by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, manages more than 3 million acres of state-owned trust forest, agricultural, range lands and commercial properties that earn income to build schools, universities and other state institutions, and help fund local services in many counties. In addition to earning income, trust lands help protect habitat for native plant and animal species, clean and abundant water, and offer public recreation and education opportunities statewide.
Peter Goldmark is the 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889.
Media Contact: Jane Chavey, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1721, firstname.lastname@example.org
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