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Old 11-16-2012, 03:33 AM
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Default Mat-Su Salmon Science and Conservation Symposium

Source: Alaska Fish & Wildlife Service

Each year, after the shovels have been put away and waders stowed, a broad cross-section of individuals and organizations interested in salmon and involved in on-the-ground efforts to ensure that important habitats are identified, safeguarded, and restored in the Mat-Su region gather for the Mat-Su Salmon Science and Conservation Symposium. This 2-day event, organized by the Mat-Su Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership, provides a forum for the sharing of information and lessons learned, celebrating of successes, and planning for the future of salmon and their habitat in this region.

Over 120 participants representing dozens of private, non-profit, governmental, and tribal entities met in Wasilla November 7-8 for the 5th annual symposium. Dr. Bob Lackey from Oregon State University kicked off this year’s event and generated lively discussion with lessons learned from the Pacific Northwest with a presentation titled “Straight Talk about the Future of Salmon.”

This year’s event was particularly special because Corinne Smith, Mat-Su Basin Program Director for The Nature Conservancy, received national recognition for her contribution to aquatic resource conservation. “Corinne has done so much for habitat conservation and scientific research not only in the Mat-Su Basin, but all of Alaska. Congratulations on a well-deserved award" said the National Fish Habitat Partnership’s Board Chair Kelly Hepler. “On behalf of the National Fish Habitat Board, it is an honor to award her with the 2012 Scientific Achievement Award.”

The Scientific Achievement Award honors outstanding achievement in the use of science to improve fish habitat conservation. Corinne spearheaded the development of the Mat-Su Partnership in 2005 and initiated its strategic planning process. Additionally, she and Marcus Geist developed a map atlas to prioritize conservation of salmon watersheds in the Mat-Su Basin.

Through her leadership and advancement of science applications, the accomplishments of the Mat-Su Partnership have steadily expanded.

The Mat-Su Partnership is part of a broader network of fish habitat partnerships in the U.S., and one of three recognized fish habitat partnerships in Alaska. Others include the Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership and the Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership; the newest candidate for membership in the nationwide network is the Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership. Voluntary, locally-driven, and non-regulatory, these partnerships help identify and fund local projects and leverage the resources and expertise of member organizations to ultimately benefit Alaska’s native fishes and their habitat.

The Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership will hold a two-day symposium featuring discussions on science and policy for both marine and freshwater fish habitats across the Kenai Peninsula Borough April 17-18, 2013 at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in Homer. The Southeast and Southwest Partnerships will also hold symposia next year. These events offer a great opportunity to learn more about the partnerships and efforts to conserve fisheries resources in the regions they encompass. You can also visit their websites or contact the local or statewide coordinators.

In Alaska, The U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service partners with private landowners, the State of Alaska, non-profits, tribal entities, universities, other federal agencies, and others to maintain and/or restore important habitats for native fish and wildlife through the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) and other programs. The Service pays up to 50% of project costs and local Service biologists provide informal advice on the design and location of potential projects and capacity for on-the-ground project implementation and monitoring.
Paul Sharman
Fish and Fly Ltd
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:21 AM
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Default Re: Mat-Su Salmon Science and Conservation Symposium

Hi Paul,

I was one of the participants in attendance at this years gathering and can report that through the many presentations there were some encouraging as well as some disturbing disclosures. Actually the first new acquaintance I made very early on the first day was that of Bob (Dr.) Lackey, he is a very gracious and engaging man with great passion for salmon and their shared struggle from Northern California to here in Alaska.

Through my being invited to attend I am now better positioned to network with some local organizations (NGO's) and political offices in our efforts to enhance habitat for our wild salmon stocks here in the MatSu. One thing that these two days highlighted for me is that salmon in many places the world over are in a precarious state of existence, one that we can not take for granted. If any of our members & readers would like to learn more about salmon I would suggest Dr. Lackey's book 'Salmon 2100 The Future Of Wild Pacific Salmon', edited along with Denise H. Lach and Sally L. Duncan. Dr. Lackey's address to the group was an introduction / synopsis of this award wining work and a brief look at the history of Pacific Salmon.

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