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Spokane, Wash., April 4// -- Avista Utilities, an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA), has been selected for the seventh consecutive year as a recipient of the award for Outstanding Stewardship of America's Rivers (OSAR). The National Hydropower Association (NHA) presents the award to a small number of hydropower operators annually. Avista is among only seven recipients of the award nationwide.
Avista was chosen this year because of its work in placing 1,800 acres of wildlife conservation land into perpetual protection. The property is located on a tributary to the Clark Fork River in western Montana where Avista operates two hydroelectric developments. The tributary, Bull River, is a critical spawning habitat for endangered bull trout and other species.
The Bull River Wildlife Management Area is the result of a broad based coalition including Avista, The Conservation Fund, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, Plum Creek Timber Company, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Culminating years of complex negotiations, the Bull River Wildlife Management Area protects important migratory corridors for wildlife as well as spawning and rearing habitat for bull trout. The arrangement, negotiated by The Conservation Fund, leverages dollars committed by Avista in the hydroelectric relicensing process for the protection, mitigation, and enhancement of the Clark Fork River with a $4.6 million Habitat Conservation Plan grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect land for the Bull River Wildlife Management Area.
"This public-private partnership demonstrates the extraordinary results that can be achieved when corporations, public agencies, and nonprofit partners work together to find balanced conservation solutions," said The Conservation Fund's president, Larry Selzer. "Thanks to the leadership of Avista and Plum Creek, and the commitment of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we are protecting some of the West's most spectacular wildlife habitat and enhancing recreational opportunities for future generations."
Avista engages in a number of stewardship activities on the Clark Fork River and has received previous OSAR awards for projects ranging from accessible recreation facilities to bull trout recovery efforts.
An independent panel including representatives from America's Clean Water Foundation, BASS (an international fishing organization), National Watershed Coalition, Denver Water Board and hydro industry experts judged the OSAR awards.
Since 1999 NHA has published its annual report detailing outstanding river stewardship. The most recent OSAR report is available on the Internet at:www.outstandingrivers.org
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is a company operating division that provides service to 338,000 electric and 297,000 natural gas customers in three western states. Avista's non-regulated subsidiaries include Avista Advantage and Avista Energy. Avista Corp.'s stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
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