WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) received an appreciation award from the Partners for Fish and Wildlife for his leadership in promoting private lands stewardship of America’s natural resources. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been a successful voluntary partnership program that helps private landowners restore fish and wildlife habitats on their own lands.
"I am proud to have authored legislation that encouraged the development of the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and to be honored today with this appreciation award," Inhofe said. "Conservation programs should respect the rights of private landowners while promoting positive incentives to protect endangered species habitats, and that’s exactly what Partners has done. More than 1,200 Oklahoma landowners with a cumulative 381,000 acres have participated in the Fish and Wildlife program in its 25 year span.
"Programs like the Partners for Fish and Wildlife continue to demonstrate that private landowners and conservation groups can work together in a responsible manner to ensure our kids and grandkids can enjoy and utilize the beauty of these lands for generations. Programs like this should be the rule, not the exception.
"Partners for Fish and Wildlife is the heart and soul of our conservation efforts," said Stephen Guertin, Deputy Director at the Department of Interior. "We are grateful to Senator Inhofe for his support over the years and are thrilled to present this award him."
“I sure would like to congratulate the Fish & Wildlife Service on 25 years with the Partners Program,” said Verlene Chervanka, an Oklahoma participant in the program.“There’s just nothing like it. My whole family, grandkids and friends all get to come out to enjoy my wetland project, but the wildlife this project has created is amazing. This past winter, I had a little over 3,000 head of geese stay for a month and a half- and that is quite a sight! I really enjoy it, and I hope that more ranchers participate in this program, because there’s just nothing any better than it. I really appreciate it.”
When Sen. Inhofe was chairman of the EPW Committee in 2005, Mr. Chervanka testified at a field hearing in favor of the Partners program.