Black Hills National Forest Natural Resource Programs Receive National Award

Release Date: Apr 5, 2018  

Contact(s): Scott Jacobson, (605) 440-1409

Custer, SD – The Black Hills Hydrology, Fisheries, and Soils & Watershed staffs received the Collaborative/Integrated Aquatic Stewardship award as part of the 2017 National Rise to the Future Awards. 

The annual Rise to the Future awards, recognizes outstanding individual and group achievements by natural resource professionals in the Forest Service, as well as partners in the fisheries, hydrology, soil and air programs.

“This group award is a recognition of the outstanding integration and efforts both internally and externally and a prime example of what it takes to work across boundaries to meet our land management objectives,” said Brian Jackson, Natural Resources Staff Officer.

While relatively small in terms of annual resources, the fisheries, soil and watershed programs on the Black Hills National Forest has worked together to achieve a variety of aquatic and recreation related accomplishments while producing the third-highest volume of timber sold across the agency in 2017.

Obtaining significant partner funding, the Black Hills National Forest completed important stream simulation design projects at undersized culverts to restore aquatic organism passage to 45 miles of stream over the past three years.

A strong partnership with South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; and Federal Highways has improved recreational fishing habitat and access at three lakes, a reservoir and a popular stream.

Black Hills National Forest staff have invested in increasing cold-water reservoir releases to enhance recreational fishing, identifying springs and wetlands for protection, and maintaining an extensive water temperature monitoring network.

For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.