President Steve Rosso presented the Flathead Lakers 2018 Stewardship Award to the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station at the Lakers’ annual meeting on July 25.
Rosso said the Flathead Lakers 60th Anniversary was an opportune time to recognize the impressive accomplishments of the Biological Station and the long partnership between the two organizations.
“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. It is the basis for sound policies, and it guides our decisions on complex problems and opportunities.”
“One of the highlights of my time here is getting to know all of you,” said Jim Elser, who became Director of the Biological Station in 2015. “The Flathead Lakers is unparalleled in its size, dedication, and history of protecting Flathead Lake and clean water,” he said, and colleagues at other biological stations around the country are envious of having a citizens group like the Lakers where they work.
Assistant Director Tom Bansak and former Director Dick Solberg, at the helm in the 1960s, accepted the award along with Elser. Solberg spoke about the transition from a summer operation to funding and constructing a new building to accommodate year-round research during his tenure. He said that opened the door for John Tibbs, Jack Stanford, and now Jim Elser, to build the exceptional research and education program that exists today.