WINs Coalition is honored

At a ceremony held at the Kinzua Dam Visitor’s Center on May 14, Allegheny Watershed Improvement Needs (WINs) Coalition partners were recognized for their outstanding contributions and leadership in the category of Collaborative and Aquatic Stewardship on the Allegheny National Forest. Formed in 2007 by representatives of 28 municipal, county, state, and federal government agencies, and non-profit organizations such as the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, and local watershed organizations, the WINs partners have completed more than 50 watershed restoration projects and more than 20 river and reservoir cleanups on the Allegheny National Forest. The WINs partners have brought over $4.8 million in external funding to the forest, provided more than 5,000 volunteer days to forest projects and reached over 10,000 students through 60 environmental education and outreach events.

Rise to the Future Awards have been in existence since the early 1990s. They represent a group of awards that recognize leadership and excellence in the Fisheries, Hydrology and Soil Science fields, and more recently in Air Quality. They are given by the US Forest Service annually to partners and FS staff.

The Collaborative/Integrated Aquatic Stewardship award recognizes collaborative/integrated efforts in aquatic resource management or monitoring that resulted in, or will result in, meaningful changes in National Forest System (NFS) aquatic resource condition. The group award includes both internal and external participants.

According to Clyde Thompson, Acting Forest Supervisor on the Allegheny National Forest (ANF), “the ANF is extremely fortunate to have the WINs Coalition monitoring and restoring watersheds across the forest. I am proud of their partnership work, and offer our thanks and congratulations for being selected for this noteworthy recognition.”