Apache-Sitgreave’s National Forests’ wins Apache-Trout Distinguished Service Award


Stephanie Coleman-Fish Award
Brian Reeves, Jerry Ward & Stephanie Coleman of  A-S National Forests


The Forest Service’s Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests recently received the prestigious Apache Trout Conservation Award at the 10th Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference in Phoenix, Arizona April 11, 2019.

The conference was attended by those interested in meeting, networking, and developing future plans to promote restoration and management of native and wild cold water fish species in Arizona and New Mexico. More than 155 individuals attended the conference and represented more than 50 agencies and organizations involved in water conservation and management, trout recovery and habitat enhancement.  

In an acceptance speech Stephanie Coleman, Aquatic Program Manager at the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests said, “On behalf of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, I would like to thank Trout Unlimited for this award. The A-S have been involved in recovery and conservation of native trout for almost 40 years and it is an honor to be recognized.” Yvette Paroz, Southwest Region Fisheries Program manager accepted the Distinguished Service Award on behalf of Stephanie Coleman, Brian Reeves and Jerry Ward, Fisheries Biologists of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.

Since the late 1980’s the Apache-Sitgreaves has changed its land management practices to improve the condition of native trout habitat. The Forest has also partnered with Arizona Game and Fish Department to support recovery of native trout in multiple streams within their range. Now, streams look better as a result of the management changes and Apache Trout, which is a federally threatened species, is getting closer to recovery.

Gila Trout - 1
Gila Trout

The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited are proud to recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations that have made exceptional contributions to the conservation, protection and restoration of native and wild trout and their habitat in the southwest.

The Apache Trout Award is given to recognize organizations for their support of a wide range of efforts to help protect and restore one of our greatest natural treasures, native and wild trout. The U.S. Forest Service has made long-term contributions to the conservation of this vital resource.

The value of the partners for native trout has been and will continue to be a key component for native trout conservation into the future. “The Old Pueblo Chapter of Trout Unlimited has been a long standing partner to the Forest and one we greatly appreciate,” said Stephanie Coleman. “They have a legacy of native trout conservation and support on the Forest’s through stream habitat improvement projects as well as long term stream temperature monitoring.”

Gila Trout Award
Apache-Trout Distinguished Service Award

“Partnerships such as these are vital when looking to the future with climate change predictions of decreased snow pack and increased stream temperatures. Identifying where quality habitat will persist during droughts like in 2018 as well as habitat improvements to maintain those strongholds will take all of us working in concert. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners into the future, and thank you again from all of us at the Apache-Sitrgreaves National Forests,” said Coleman.