Nichols wins conservation award

DARRINGTON A Snohomish Conservation District Award has been presented to Roger Nichols, a watershed specialist and engineering geologist with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, for his work with the West Side Higgins Road Erosion Control Project for the past six years.
Its the first of several similar projects in the North Fork Stillaguamish River Basin, with the U.S. Forest Service and the Snohomish Conservation District as partners.
These projects could not have happened without Rogers expertise and knowledge of the forest roads and their underlying geology, said Christian Hoffman, a resource management engineer with the U.S. Forest Service. His knowledge of the history of these forestlands, and his ability to source the scientific data and references needed to document the erosion problem, has first-handedly contributed to four successfully funded grant applications.
Of those four projects, the first two have been completed, the third is currently under construction and the fourth is being designed and planned, Hoffman said.
Hoffman described Nichols as a steward of the forests, whose efforts have served both the Snohomish Conservation District and the public as a whole, by significantly reducing a major sediment erosion problem in the North Fork Stillaguamish River Basin.
Its promoted juvenile salmon viability and salmon restoration overall, Hoffman said.
The U.S. Forest Service lands are a public asset, maintained for future generation, he added. Rogers knowledge of the road system allowed him to identify which roads could be closed off or decommissioned while maintaining primary routes for public access, recreation and forest stewardship.
Hoffman lauded Nichols for his skills as a project manager, his willingness to host project tours, and his ability to answer questions of Snohomish Conservation District staff as paramount to the success and smooth implementation of these projects.
In spite of Hoffmans assertion that Nichols deserves a lions share of the credit for expanding Snohomish Conservation District involvement in U.S. Forest Service projects, Nichols himself was quick to deem his award the result of a team effort.
Many, many people were involved in these projects, Nichols said. They simply selected me as a representative to receive this award.
Hoffman claimed Nichols was far too modest and has expanded our horizons, to the benefit of everyone involved, but he echoed Nichols praise of all the agencies that have come together to coordinate these projects, on behalf of the common cause of environmental stewardship.

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