[12/13/16] Chelan County Commissioner, Ron Walter, Receives Esther Stefaniw Memorial Award
Wenatchee, WA – The Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board (UCSRB) and the North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative (NCWFHC) presented Ron Walter, Chelan County Commissioner and UCSRB member, with the Esther Stefaniw Memorial Award at the December 8, 2016 UCSRB Board of Directors meeting. The award recognizes significant contributions to the UCSRB mission, and leadership in ensuring effective expenditure of state and federal funds on forest health and river restoration.
Ron Walter embodies the spirit of the Esther Stefaniw Memorial Award. Esther Stefaniw, former Chelan County Commissioner and one of the founding board members of the UCSRB, played an instrumental role in rallying the region around locally led salmon recovery. Esther firmly believed that only through a grass-roots process would salmon recovery efforts realize their conservation and economic goals. Past recipients of the Esther Stefaniw Award include: Sandy Cox, Okanogan County (2007), Entiat Landowner Steering Committee (2009), Methow Restoration Council (2009), and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (2010), Rick Smith (2013) and Lynn Hatcher (NOAA Fisheries (2015).
Since 2000, Ron has dedicated his time on the UCSRB Board of Directors, and also as a Chelan County Commissioner. Esther Stefaniw, Ron Walter and several key individuals formed the initial bedrock of the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board that still successfully collaborates for milestones in salmon recovery and forest health today.
The UCSRB Board of Directors is comprised of three county commissioners from Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan Counties, and one representative each from the Yakama Nation and the Colville Confederated Tribes. The UCSRB was founded in 1999 following the listing of 3 iconic species under the Federal Endangered Species Act – spring Chinook (endangered), steelhead (threatened), and bull trout (threatened). The mission of the UCSRB is to restore viable and sustainable populations of salmon, steelhead, and other at-risk species through the collaborative, economically sensitive efforts, combined resources, and wise resource management of the Upper Columbia region.