Throughout his impressive career in fish and wildlife management, and as a naturalist and outdoorsman, Phil has made notable contributions to resolving U.S/Canadian issues and to ensuring a sustainable and resilient Pacific salmon resource for the people of Canada and the United States. Starting as a charter boat operator in 1970, through his accomplishment as an outstanding Lead Negotiator for the United States to renew chapters of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, he has been exemplary in his communication, negotiation, and leadership skills. It is this triumvirate, along with his deep understanding of technical and political issues, that has allowed Phil to treat others with dignity and respect while still bringing tough positions to the international negotiation table.
As challenges continue to mount in the management of Pacific Salmon, including threatened and endangered stocks, changing ocean conditions, and reductions in available harvest, Phil continues to remain focused on conservation issues. Given the diverse domestic landscape, legislative requirements, and the deeply technical nature of the negotiations, his contribution to resolving the myriad challenges in the negotiations were often the key to ensuring a new conservation and harvest sharing agreement under the Treaty. Through his leadership, skill, respect and unfailing energy, Phil Anderson worked with his team of Commissioners to balance the U.S. position on conservation issues and harvest sharing challenges.
For these and many other reasons, Phil was chosen as the 2019 recipient for the Larry Rutter Memorial Award. He received the award at the Commission’s 34th Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon.
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 is re-created annually for each award recipient.