June 10, 2013
IDAHO ASSOCIATION OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY SELECTS UPPER BLACKFOOT RIVER INITIATIVE FOR CONSERVATION FOR ITS 2013 ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARD
Coeur d’Alene – The Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry (IACI) presented the Upper Blackfoot River Initiative for Conservation (UBRIC) with its 2013 Environmental Excellence Award during IACI’s 39th Annual Conference in Coeur d’Alene this week.
First presented in 1997, the IACI Environmental Excellence Award provides recognition to businesses which, through innovative environmental leadership and accomplishment, have achieved outstanding results in environmental protection and enhancement. All businesses operating in Idaho are eligible for the award, including non-IACI members.
The Upper Blackfoot River Initiative for Conservation partners are Agrium/NuWest, Idaho Conservation League, J. R. Simplot Company, Monsanto and Trout Unlimited. This year, the UBRIC Partners are recognized for completing a watershed assessment for the Upper Blackfoot River, including a fish population study. Then, through effective outreach, the partners worked with local irrigators to restore upstream fish passage and install fish screens at two irrigation diversions on Lanes and Diamond creeks. The projects reconnect critical spawning and rearing habitat for native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the Blackfoot watershed.
Accepting the award for UBRIC were Peter Anderson, Counsel for the Idaho Water Project at Trout Unlimited; Trent Clark, Public and Government Affairs Director for Monsanto; Brad Smith, Conservation Associate for the Idaho Conservation League; Mark Dunn, Vice President, Government Affairs, for J. R. Simplot Company; and John Tippets, Manager, Public Affairs, for Agrium. Presented in front of over 85 of Idaho’s business leaders and over 55 legislators and elected officials attending the IACI conference, IACI Chairman Mike Reynoldson commended the UBRIC partners for being “focused on environmentally responsible business practices.”
Said Brad Smith with the Idaho Conservation League, “By working together we are having an impact far greater than if we were going it alone.” Restoring the health of the Blackfoot River unites us in a common purpose; one that benefits the local community and fish and wildlife.”
The UBRIC project was selected by an independent committee chaired by Martin Bauer, EHSS Manager at Micron Technology. Other selection committee members were Representative Mat Erpelding (D-Boise), member of the House Resources & Conservation Committee, Robbin Finch, Water Quality Manager for the City of Boise; Orville Green, Administrator of the Waste Remediation Program at the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality; Senator Lee Heider (R-Twin Falls), member of the Senate Resources & Environment Committee, and Paul Kjellander, President of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.
Also nominated for the 2013 award were: Hecla Limited, J.R. Simplot Company’s Don Plant, Thompson Creek Mining, and Union Pacific Railroad. Noted Reynoldson, “This year, our selection committee had the daunting task of selecting the best of the best. We had five excellent organizations and their projects nominated, and all their accomplishments in environmental stewardship are commendable.”
Past recipients of the IACI Environmental Excellence Award include: J.R. Simplot Company (Don Plant), Union Pacific Railroad, Agri Beef Co., Twin Falls Canal Company, Micron Technology, Zilog, Rycair Inc., Albertson’s, Basic American Foods (Shelley Plant), Melaleuca Inc., Monsanto, Hewlett-Packard, Idaho Sand & Gravel/Idaho Concrete, ConAgra/ Lamb Weston and the Flying M Ranch of Ashton.
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