The Pacific Salmon Commission is pleased to announce Dr. Brian Riddell as the recipient of the 2018 Larry Rutter Memorial Award for Pacific Salmon Conservation.
Dr. Riddell’s career has spanned four decades, and reflects his dedication to science, policy, and public engagement on behalf of Pacific salmon. He developed many of Canada’s foundational salmon assessments and, with Larry Rutter, was a key advocate for the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project which secured $5 million in funding from the Southern Endowment Fund. Dr. Riddell also co-authored the current Chinook assessment model adopted by the Commission in 1999, thus leading to significant changes in the management of this valuable and iconic species.
In the PSC, Brian has been a principal figure since the Pacific Salmon Treaty’s inception, working on technical committees and assisting in international negotiations on behalf of Canada. He continues that role today, helping to guide technically complex discussions as the Parties renegotiate the Chinook management framework for another 10 year period. In domestic policy, Dr. Riddell was the scientific lead in the creation of Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon, for which he and his co-authors received the Government of Canada’s Public Service Distinction Award in 2005.
Through his work as the President and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, he has successfully raised millions of dollars in funding to support community-based salmon conservation projects in the region that empower citizens to undertake local habitat restoration and other actions that support salmon conservation. Most recently, he developed the Pacific Salmon Explorer – an online visualization tool that provides a deep understanding of the human and environmental pressures facing salmon populations and habitat.
For these and many other reasons, Dr. Riddell was chosen as the 2018 recipient for the Larry Rutter Memorial Award and received it in a ceremony at the Commission’s 33rd Annual Meeting in Vancouver, B.C.
About the award
Larry Rutter was a fixture in Pacific salmon conservation and management for more than three decades until his untimely death in 2014. He was a leading influence in how the Tribes, the United States, and Canada approached salmon management and research during the turn of the 21st century. The Commission established the award to help memorialize Larry’s lifetime of work including his legacy in the PSC, the Pacific Northwest Tribes, the Southern Fund Committee, and beyond.
The award itself is a custom-made talking stick, crafted by renowned Coast Salish carver Jim Yelton of Sechelt, B.C. The stick has three symbols from top to bottom: Salmon, Human, and Bear. All of these have symbolism in the PSC context: Salmon at the center of our Human work, and Bear, the teacher of conservation who would gorge on fish but allow enough to pass for the next generation. The stick will be re-created annually for each award recipient.