Monday, May 19, 2014

USFW Honors Local Champ for JBLM Work

The 2013 US.Fish & Wildlife Recovery Champions are U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff and their partners whose work advances the recovery of endangered and threatened species of plants and animals.

A recovery champion for the South Puget Sound Prairies for more than a decade, Lisa Bellefond brought together representatives of the DoD, Agriculture and Interior in the Sentinel Landscape Initiative.

Lisa Bennefond

Together, they integrated national security, food security, ecosystem restoration and species recovery.

The initiative has already been credited with an investment of $6 million towards permanently protecting habitat for the streaked-horned lark, Taylor's checkerspot butterfly, golden paintbrush and Mazama pocket gopher.

With Benefond's support, Thurston County received $1.8 million in Habitat Conservation Planning grants during 3 years to develop a countywide plan to benefit 16 species for 50 years on prairies, oak woodlands and grasslands. Through her advocacy, Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Army Compatible Use Buffer program became the first in the nation to adopt the strategy of acquiring and restoring lands off the post, a key step in launching the expansive Sentinel Landscapes.

A leader in collaborating and innovating, Bellefond has engaged diverse partners in protecting prairies and working lands for sustainable economic development.

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