Flathead Lake Biological Station Recipient of Prestigious Stewardship Award
On the 60th anniversary of their organization's founding, the Flathead Lakers presented their prestigious 2018 Stewardship Award to the Flathead Lake Biological Station at their annual meeting. The Stewardship Award was given in recognition of the Bio Station's sustained and outstanding contributions to the protection of Flathead Lake and its watershed.
"We have a lot to be proud of here," said FLBS Director Jim Elser in a statement after the event. "This is a really big honor and reflects the dedication, hard work, and commitment of so many at FLBS."
Since 1899, FLBS has served as "Sentinel of the Lake." In 1977, it instituted a scientifically-rigorous monitoring program, and currently stands as the first line of defense against current and future threats to the health and quality of the Flathead Watershed. These threats range from aquatic invasive species, like the zebra and quagga mussels, to nutrient and biological pollution from degraded shoreline septic systems.
"Certainly, the leadership of Jack Stanford and Bonnie Ellis in establishing and maintaining the Flathead Monitoring Program was central," Elser said, referring to retired FLBS Director Jack Stanford and retired FLBS professor Bonnie Ellis. "The dedication of all FLBS staff and students over the years to doing great science and relating that science to our community is what this award acknowledges."
Flathead Lakers president Steve Rosso said that this was an opportune time to recognize the impressive accomplishments of FLBS and reflected on the long partnership between the two organizations.
(Left to right) FLBS Assistant Director Tom Bansak, Flathead Lakers President Steve Rosso, FLBS Director Jim Elser, and former FLBS Director Dick Solberg
"We are very fortunate to have this exceptional research and education institution and its talented and collegial scientists and staff right here on Flathead Lake," Rosso said. "Their research is the foundation for understanding our river and lake system and the natural resources they support."
Research conducted at FLBS has been the informative force behind significant water quality conservation achievements, including the ban of phosphorus-containing detergents and the prevention of mining in the upper North Fork Flathead River. The long history of research and monitoring has also resulted in much scientific discovery and insight, and cultivated one of the most robust ecological and water quality records in the world.
Formed in 1958, the Flathead Lakers is a nonprofit organization comprised of Flathead area residents who work to keep the lake clean, the local ecosystems healthy, and ensure a sustainable quality of life in the Flathead Watershed. They provide leadership and support for the protection and improvement of water quality through advocacy, education, and stewardship programs.