For Immediate Release      

Contact:   Marc Gaden

June 26, 2001

 734-662-3209 x. 14


Great Lakes Fishery Commission Honors Those Involved in Tribal Settlement for Work to Forge Historic Fisheries Agreement

ANN ARBOR, MI—The Great Lakes Fishery Commission this month presented Tom Gorenflo of the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority, Mark Holey of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Kelley Smith of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, with the Jack Christie/Ken Loftus Award for Outstanding Contributions to Healthy Ecosystems.  The award, which is presented annually by the commission, recognized these individuals for their work to help achieve an historic fishery agreement between the Chippewa-Ottawa tribes signatory to the 1836 treaty, the State of Michigan, and the United States federal government.  These negotiators were honored for their strong commitment to the fisheries resources, their application of scientific principles, and their abilities to help all sides forge an equitable agreement.

In August, 2000, five tribal governments, the State of Michigan, the U.S. Federal Government, and four stakeholder groups endorsed the fishery agreement after two years of difficult negotiation.  At issue were allocation of the fishery among the users, rehabilitation of native species (e.g., lake trout) and the application of joint management programs.  The final agreement redistributed the fishing opportunities among the parties; included an enhanced commitment to native species restoration through stocking, harvest controls, and sea lamprey control; and fostered the conversion of gill nets to trap nets.

“The agreement between Michigan and the tribes is truly remarkable,” said Dr. Chris Goddard, the commission’s Executive Secretary.  “When this process began, the parties to the negotiation were entrenched in their respective positions.  It was unclear whether they would come together with a successful agreement or whether the process would fly apart and land in the courts.  Thanks to the commitment of the parties to reach an agreement, particularly the efforts of these individuals, the agreement is equitable to the people who rely on the fishery for food and income and is good for the Great Lakes resource.  Especially important is the fact that the parties based their agreement on scientific principles.” 

Goddard added:  “In presenting this award, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission recognized the extraordinary commitment to partnerships, science, and above all, the fishery resources of the Great Lakes.”

The Jack Christie/Ken Loftus Award for Distinguished Contributions to Healthy Great Lakes Ecosystems is presented by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to recognize an individual or group who made significant contributions to protecting or improving Great Lakes ecosystems.  Healthy ecosystems are the foundation for strong fish and wildlife communities.  Jack Christie and Ken Loftus, two former employees of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, remain widely known for their steadfast adherence to science in resource management.   Their lasting legacies continue to be the high standards they set for research, their emphasis on science as the basis for management, and their commitment to the “ecosystem approach.”  The Jack Christie/Ken Loftus award recognizes those who have adhered to the highest principles of science for the short-term and long-term benefit of Great Lakes ecosystems.

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is an international organization established by the governments of the United States and Canada through the 1955 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries.  The Commission has the responsibility to coordinate fisheries research, control sea lampreys, and facilitate implementation of the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries. For more information about the Commission and its programs, visit on the Internet or call Marc Gaden at 734-662-3209, x. 14.

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