By Published On: May 26, 2013

Idaho Fish And Game Wins Award As A Conservation Partner

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game was recognized by the IWJV as the 2013 winner of its prestigious Conservation Partner Award.

The award was presented by the IWJV, an organization that furthers bird habitat conservation through science and partnerships across 11 states in the West.  The award is presented to an agency, organization, corporation or a collaborative effort that has made outstanding contributions to a Joint Venture-sponsored project or initiative, or has played an instrumental role in advancing strategic, landscape-scale habitat conservation.

From left to right: Alan Clark, Don Kemner, and Virgil Moore.

“Idaho has always been a leader in this Joint Venture,” said Miles Moretti, IWJV’s Chairman of Awards and CEO of the Mule Deer Foundation. “They’ve paved the way in dynamic science and partner-based bird habitat conservation.”

Accepting the award on the organization’s behalf was Virgil Moore, Director of Idaho Fish and Game and IWJV Management Board Member, and Don Kemner, Wildlife Program Coordinator and IWJV State Conservation Partnership Chair.

“We pride ourselves in our staff and partners,” Moore said. “The Idaho Bird Conservation Partnership is not about one person but the many who together make things happen.”

Some of their achievements include helping farmers restore 94,300 acres of grassland habitat for Columbian Sharp-tailed grouse through the Conservation Reserve Program’s State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement. They have also contributed greatly to the success of the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) by providing state funding to help leverage $9.3 million that the IWJV secured to build capacity for over $200 million in on-the-ground habitat work. SGI is removing threats to sage grouse in Idaho through grazing management, removal of encroaching conifers and conservation easements.

Idaho Fish and Game is constantly striving to improve management of its lands and support its partners in securing working lands conservation easements in this critical landscape. Overall, Idaho has received 17 North American Wetlands Conservation Act Standard Grants for $12.2 million in federal funding, leveraging in excess of $45 million in non-federal match from conservation partners. These grants have protected, restored and enhanced tens of thousands of acres of critical wetlands, riparian areas and associated grasslands.

This state fish and wildlife agency is also on the cutting edge of blending science and conservation delivery through a myriad of wetland conservation efforts in the Upper Snake River Region.

“The agency has set the bar for science-based, partnership-driven bird habitat conservation,” said Moretti. “They are an example of how agencies can take the Joint Venture model and build robust partnerships that get habitat on the ground in the best places.”