The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to celebrate the millennium by honoring the heroes who have played a significant role in the protection of our national symbol, the bald eagle. Eagle 2000 Awards will be an opportunity for people all across the country to be recognized for the service they have provided to this country through their efforts to restore the bald eagle.
The bald eagle once ranged throughout every State in the Union except Hawaii. When America adopted the bird as its national symbol in 1892, as many as 100,000 nesting bald eagles lived in the continental United States, excluding Alaska. But by 1963, only 417 nesting pairs were found in the lower 48 States.
Today, due to recovery efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with other Federal agencies, Tribes, State and local governments, conservation organizations, universities, corporations and thousands of individual Americans, this number has risen to 5,748 nesting pairs. Thanks to the efforts of Americans across the country working together, the bald eagle has been proposed for removal from the Endangered Species List. A final decision on the proposal is due later this year. Regardless of the outcome of the final decision, the Service believes it is important to recognize the heroes that have brought the bald eagle back from the brink of extinction.
Nominees for the awards should have achieved significant results in the protection and recovery of the species. Nominations can be for organizations and individuals from both inside and outside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, from other Federal or State agencies, and from non-government organizations and individuals.
The nomination process will run from February 22 to April 30, 2000. A nomination form must be completely filled out to be considered. Awards will be presented to the winners in an awards ceremony to be scheduled at a later date.
The Service needs everyone^s help to identify the individuals and organizations who have been key to the return of the bald eagle. Please complete the form and tell us about the heroes you know, and share the form with other groups and individuals. Return your nomination to the address listed on the bottom of the form as soon as possible. Thank you for your help in honoring those who have brought back our national symbol.