Four local residents were recognized in April at the annual Regional Forester’s Honor Awards Ceremony held in Lakewood.
Mary Hammer and Clay Kampf, both fisheries biologists with the San Juan National Forest; Jim White with Colorado Parks and Wildlife; and Buck Skillen with Trout Unlimited were recognized for conservation work related to expanding populations of Colorado River cutthroat trout.
Working together, they and their agencies evacuated the newly rediscovered San Juan lineage of Colorado River cutthroat trout from two streams affected by recent wildfires. In summer 2018, they removed fish from a 2-mile stretch of Wolf Creek to support the cutthroat reintroduction.
Over the years, the award recipients have accomplished a native Colorado River cutthroat trout reintroduction project that isolates and protects 23 miles of highly productive stream in the Hermosa Creek Watershed. This habitat is accessible for recreational fishing and located in a popular recreation area that will benefit the public long into the future.
Their efforts and investment in partnerships in Hermosa have paved the way to expand trout populations where appropriate on the San Juan National Forest.