The U.S. Forest Service awarded the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs with the “Rise to the Future” award at a ceremony in November. The Tribes were a 2016 recipient of the U.S. Forest Service’s national “Rise to the Future” award for excellence and leadership in fisheries and hydrology at an event held in Washington, D.C. with the Undersecretary of Agriculture and the Chief of the Forest Service in attendance. The award recognizes exemplary or innovative “on-the-ground” accomplishments that benefit NFS lands, accomplished by federally-recognized, as well as non-recognized tribes, or non-governmental organization’s working with tribes.
Robert “Bobby” Brunoe, the General Manager of the Branch of Natural Resources and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, represented the Tribes at the event. Nomination for this award was submitted by the Malheur National Forest for the Tribes’ work in conducting and supporting aquatic restoration in the John Day River Basin. Efforts included not only their work on the Oxbow restoration project on the Middle Fork John Day River, but also their significant partnership efforts with watershed councils, the Malheur National Forest, Grant County, private landowners, and the State of Oregon.
Rise To the Future Award Details:
The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs in the Pacific Northwest Region is being recognized as a co-winner for the Tribal Accomplishment Award for its role in conducting and supporting aquatic restoration in the John Day River Basin on the Malheur National Forest. The John Day River Basin is the only major Columbia River tributary that has not been dammed or stocked with hatchery fish and is a high priority for the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs’ restoration program. One of their restoration highlights is the Oxbow Project, where the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs purchased property and reconstructed a one-mile reach of the Middle Fork John Day River that had been straightened and confined by extensive mine tailings. The project reconnected tributaries flowing from the Malheur National Forest to the river, recreating access to cold-water rearing sites for bull trout, Chinook salmon and steelhead. The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs has also built strong relationships with its watershed partners, such as the Malheur National Forest, livestock permittees, county commissioners, watershed councils and others. In doing so, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs has helped create a restoration network that will continue to support integrated restoration projects on National Forest System lands and elsewhere in the John Day River Basin