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Homer Campbell Award to OSU Fisheries and Wildlife

The 2015 recipient of the Homer Campbell Award is the Oregon State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. They have excelled in every criteria and, we believe, will continue to lead in work that helps protect Oregonís precious wildlife.

Members of the Department have played major roles in the preservation and protection of our wildlife and, as a consequence, of our ancient forests. Researchers in the Department provided initial and thorough studies of the Northern Spotted Owl and the Marbled Murrelet - studies that were pivotal to the understanding and protection of our old growth ecosystems, as well as of the birds themselves. Other researchers studied the life cycles of rapidly declining populations of Band-tailed Pigeons and convinced the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to change its hunting season to accommodate the birdsí extended breeding activities at mineral springs. That action led to the restoration of a newly vibrant population.

Another group of researchers dealt with a problem with Caspian Terns, whose coastal breeding populations had been eliminated by development. The terns had concentrated on a small island in the mouth of the Columbia River where they fed primarily on young salmon. Researchers successfully moved the colony to an island closer to the ocean where a wider range of prey is available, thereby lessening pressure on threatened salmon species. And they continued by establishing successful tern islands in the Warner Valley, at Summer Lake, and at Malheur NWR.

Yet another research group developed methods of tracking whales. The ability to follow the whales has led to an increasing knowledge of whalesí movements, habitat requirements, and susceptibility to environmental threats. Recently, studies by OSU researchers of the habitat requirements of Greater Sage Grouse led to the clearing of juniper in the Warner Mountains to provide more suitable grouse habitat and may help the grouse escape being listed as an endangered species. Current research and applications of the departmentís faculty cover a wide spectrum of activities aimed at the preservation of our wildlife. Faculty members are actively engaged in studying the effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems, on avian populations, and on riparian ecology. Others study habitat restoration for salmon, terrestrial invertebrates in riparian zones, ecology of high desert streams, songbird ecology, seabird ecology Ö the list goes on!

In addition to the sheer volume and breadth of new scientific knowledge generated by the Department, the enthusiasm of faculty members to share on-going research with the community is high. ASC members and the public at large have benefited from many fascinating presentations at General Meetings through the years, made by both faculty and students in the Department.

ASC congratulates the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife for the world-class biological research it continues to produce, much of it concerning our best loved local species and habitats. An accurate understanding of local ecology provides the solid base upon which to craft ways to conserve what is most precious.

Fred Ramsey and Linda Campbell

Bruce Duggar accepting the awardfrom Chris Matthews on behal of the OSU Fisheries and Wildlife Dept. while Dan Roby looks on

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Audubon Society of Corvallis
PO Box 148
Corvallis, OR 97339