About the Award
This BC Interior Stewardship Award for Ecosystem Excellence has been offered each year since 2007 to recognize the successful efforts of an individual and/or organization in stewardship of Interior ecosystems over an extended period.
The Award is given by the Fraser Basin Council and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and presentation made at the annual BC Interior Stewardship Workshop. The next call for nominations will be made early in 2016.
To be eligible, an individual or organization must have been instrumental in one of the following:
Three references are requested in support of each nomination.
Award Recipients (2007-2015)
Between 2007 and 2015, the Fraser Basin Council and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have honoured the following stewards and stewardship organizations.
2015 — Adams River Salmon Society
The Adams River Salmon Society was honoured in 2015. This Society has been described as a leading force in the promotion of salmon habitat protection, river ecosystem restoration and public engagement for nearly 20 years. The Society’s most widely known achievement is the “Salute to the Sockeye,” a fall event held for three weeks every four years at Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park, welcoming as many as 150,000 visitors each time. Other achievements of the Society include a dedicated volunteer community, a positive partnership with the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band, and education on the virtues of clean land, water and air.
2014 — Neil Brookes
Neil Brookes, past Executive Director of the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre Society, was honoured in 2014.
Neil is well known and respected for his prominent role in watershed education and for fostering a stewardship ethic in the Enderby/North Okanagan region and beyond. His leadership has spanned 25 years — and during that time, a small salmon hatchery at Kingfisher transformed into an ecosystem stewardship learning centre that now welcomes thousands of school children annually. Neil has been a key partner in stream restoration projects, environmental monitoring, invasive species management and more.
In the words of his nominator Richard Smith, Neil merits recognition “not for his many past accomplishments, but for what he will achieve through future generations: the knowledge of ecosystem function, the wisdom of ecosystem stewardship, and the passion for ecosystem responsibility in thousands of children.”
Congratulations, Neil, for making a lasting contribution.
2013 — Wayne Salewski
Wayne Salewski received the award in 2013 for his leadership role in watershed sustainability initiatives in Vanderhoof and surrounding area.
Wayne is known for his many commitments to community sevice, and he has demonstrated tremendous leadership in support of healthy watersheds. He led a successful rehabilitation project in the Murray Creek watershed through a collaboration of ranchers and other landowners, businesses, local government, schools, environmental stewards and other partners. He was also pivotal to formation of the Nechako Environment and Water Stewardship Society (NEWSS), a non-profit organization that is building stewardship partnerships across the Nechako River Basin.
One of the nominators summed up his contributions this way: "Wayne has brought a lifetime of personal, agency and corporate relationship to the stewardship table and combined them masterfully with his local area knowledge, a strong organizational skillset and an ability to function well within organizations to effectively support local watershed sustainability."
A heartfelt congratulations to Wayne for his accomplishments, on behalf of all of BC's stewardship community.
2012 — Harold Ridgway
Harold Ridgway played a pivotal role in founding the Bonaparte Watershed Stewardship Society (BWSS) and has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to its work and to garnering community support for collaboration on watershed issues.
An important early focus for the BWSS was to overcome mistrust and concerns among landowners, officials and resource managers following introduction of sensitive streams legislation in the late 1990s. The society has worked on strengthening relationships in the region, and on habitat enhancement and bank stabilization projects in cooperation with landowners ― over 130 restoration projects in all. A current focus is on public education on watershed functions and values.
2011 — Tracy Bond
Tracy Bond has a passion for the environment and for encouraging responsible management of resources in BC’s Northern Interior.
Tracy was instrumental to creation of the Nature Education and Resource Centre and the network of interpretive trails within the West Fraser Timber Park in Quesnel by obtaining locally donated materials, labour, equipment and furniture. Today the Nature Centre is a hub for ecosystem education.
As Coordinator for the Baker Creek Enhancement Society over the past 15 years, Tracy has represented the needs of community stewardship groups and created extensive partnerships. She has been involved in such achievements as the Dragon Creek Stewardship Plan, the Cariboo-Chilcotin Riparian Logic Model and Behaviour Change Plan, and numerous riparian restoration and stream rehabilitation projects within the Narcolsi, Baker Creek, Cottonwood River, Naver Creek and Dragon Creek areas.
Tracy also made her mark as Stewardship Coordinator under Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Habitat Conservation and Stewardship Program in 2005.
2010 — Mike Wallis (Individual Award)
Mike Wallis is described by his friends and colleagues as a river steward and “fixer upper guy.” Mike has been working in the stewardship and restoration field for 33 years, and during that time has shown leadership and dedication to many others. Notably, he has worked with the Salmon River Watershed Roundtable, the Bonaparte Watershed Stewardship Society, the Farmland Riparian Interface Stewardship Program, and the Vanderhoof Fish & Game Club Murray Creek Rehabilitation Program.
A professional biologist, his accomplishments include the Salmon River watershed plan, countless restoration, monitoring and assessment projects, an active role in community engagement and in forging of multi-agency partnerships, and most recently assisting other stewardship organizations throughout the province as they seek to develop watershed sustainability plans.
2010 — Cayoose Creek First Nation/ St’at’imc (Organization Award)
Cayoose Creek First Nation/St’at’imc have been proactive in working on restoration projects on their traditional lands for the benefit of fish, wildlife and ecosystems — and in forging partnerships to ensure the success of stewardship work.
They were instrumental in the Sat’atqwa7 (Powerhouse Foreshore Restoration) project and complexing of the Seton Spawning Channels. Other achievements include educational and cultural ecotourism opportunities, assisting with the "Three Rivers Join One" project with Lillooet Naturalists’ Society, developing plans to protect species at risk in the Seton River corridor, cultural use of fire to maintain ecosystems, and assisting in a plan for a nature centre in Lillooet.
2009 — Tom Minor
Tom Minor (centre) of Lumby was honoured for his stewardship activities in the Shuswap and Mabel areas. As a habitat restoration coordinator based out of the White Valley Community Resource Centre in Lumby. Tom helped the Centre partner with landowners, First Nations, regulatory agencies and environmental organizations to complete a variety of projects in the Shuswap watershed. He was instrumental in the development of the Lumby Weyerhaeuser Salmon Trails, irrigation management planning, water use planning, and creek flow restoration.
2008 — Dora McMillan
Dora McMillan has been an important leader for many stewardship organizations in the city of Quesnel. She is the founder of Baker Creek Enhancement Society and of the Quesnel Air Quality Roundtable, and has sat on the Quesnel Environmental Advisory Committee.
Dora has devoted countless volunteer hours to these initiatives and plays a key role in mentoring young people.
2007 — Jamie Felhauer