Kevin O’Brien of Grants Pass was recently recognized by the US Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service for accomplishments in significant aquatic restoration projects…The Pacific Northwest Regional “Rise to the Future” award was presented to Mr. Kevin O’Brien, the Watershed Coordinator for the Illinois Valley (IV) Watershed Council and District Manager for the IV Soil & Water Conservation District.
Kevin has made significant steps in restoring watershed health and function with multiple partners on both private and National Forest System lands in the Illinois Valley during his tenure as the coordinator of the Illinois Valley Watershed Council. To optimally serve as a stream/aquatic restoration planner, Mr. O’Brien earned a River Restoration Professional Certification by attending a year-long course through Portland State University.
Mr. O’Brien has managed or co-managed numerous major instream and riparian projects in the Illinois Valley on private and public lands, including Althouse Creek bank stabilization, Sucker Creek bank stabilization, Grayback Creek large wood placement, Deer Creek channel and floodplain restoration, and Sucker Creek floodplain and channel restoration.
“I wake up every day and get to do what I absolutely love to do, and that is be a part of a team dedicated to improving our natural resources and economic conditions in the region,” said O’Brien.
Kevin [has] consistently demonstrated extraordinary abilities in bringing a wide variety of agency and non-profit partners together to work towards shared natural resource goals and solutions in restoration and watershed projects. Some of the projects have been so complex, they have taken 20+ years to accomplish, requiring extensive knowledge and cooperation in the administering of permits, land owner agreements, grant writing, contracts, surveys and assessments.
“These individuals are two shining examples of our many partners in conservation that we are privileged and honored to work with. We simply could not accomplish many of our restoration projects without their contributions and involvement,” said Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Fisheries Program Manager Susan Maiyo.
“Rise to the Future,” a highly successful USDA Forest Service initiative, was designed to enhance the fisheries and watershed on national forests. The “Rise to the Future” awards acknowledge exceptional work in the aquatic arena, such as fish, watershed, soils and management leadership, aquatic research, aquatic restoration, fishery/recreational accomplishments and collaborative/integrated aquatic stewardship.
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is proud to honor … local, regional and national leaders in aquatic stewardship and restoration.
Source: USFS News Release, Pacific Northwest Region