2017 River Management Awards

The River Management Society (RMS) congratulates winners of the 2017 River Management Awards, individuals whose outstanding achievement and leadership among river professionals is impressive and inspiring. This year they all happen to be RMS members so we are particularly proud to acknowledge them and their accomplishments.  This year’s awardees, nominated by their peers and reviewed by the RMS Awards Committee::


River Manager of the Year - Monica Zimmerman

Contribution to the River Management Society - Jena (Daly) Barringer

Contribution to River Management - Ken Kimball

Frank Church Wild and Scenic Rivers Award - Joan Harn

These honors, open to both members and non-members, represent the highest form of peer appreciation. Nominations are submitted by individuals from the river management community, and the selections are made by the RMS Awards Committee, led by the National Secretary.

River Manager of the Year Monica Zimmerman - Moscow, Idaho

This award recognizes field-oriented individuals and normally focuses on recent accomplishments. Monica Zimmerman was presented the River Manager of the Year award at a celebration in Idaho Falls, Idaho on March 31. A dedicated and highly motivated Outdoor Recreation Planner with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Monica has been an invaluable asset to the river management program in the Upper Snake Field Office since 2000. She manages nearly 200 miles of river, including the Main Snake, South Fork, Henrys Fork, Teton, and Falls Rivers -- all within southeast Idaho’s Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This river system receives an average of 250,000 visitors annually.

Monica manages an active water-based recreation program, including the Henry's Lake Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC),Snake River ACEC and Special Recreation Management Area. These areas support multiple Endangered and special status species and the most unique and bio-diverse ecosystem in Idaho. Monica is the field office lead for the Snake River Partnership, a nationally-recognized land conservation project that has protected approximately 28,000 acres of land as open space for recreation and conservation along the South Fork, Henrys Fork, and Main Snake Rivers and the Henry's Lake area. Learn more about Monica's great work here.

Jena receiving award from RMS Alaska Chapter President Dave SchadeContribution to the RMS - Jena (Daly) Barringer - Anchorage, Alaska

This award category recognizes an individual who has contributed to the success of the River Management Society. Jena Barringer (Daly) served as the River Management Society Secretary from 2012 through 2014. She brought a youthful exuberance, creativity, tremendous work ethic and incredible organizational skills to the board. The RMS Board is much more effective and nimble than it was prior to her tenure. Since stepping down from her board position, 

Jena is a master of organizational skills. This is demonstrated by accomplishments in how the board handles work and documents. Jena brought RMS into a more modern era with the use of a file sharing site to distribute, edit and store documents. She spearheaded efforts to update and modernize the Master Business Documents including revision and replacement of poorly performing business practices.As part of the review of the Master Business Documents, the Awards Committee Charter was revised. The revision established the RMS Secretary as the Chair of the Awards Committee. Jena excelled in this role. She also revised t he nomination process, assuring quality nominations were received in all award categories.  Jena demonstrated leadership on the RMS Board. She was able to step up and provide order and discipline when and where it was needed. She effectively tracked action items and assignments and held people responsible for their completion. The Board of RMS went through a remarkable change over the last several years. Past business practices and funding sources were no longer reliable. Jena was instrumental and a leader in taking RMS into its future.

Ken receiving award from past RMS President Jim MacCartney, RMS NE Chapter officer Lelia MellenKen and nominators, RMS members Tom Christopher and Norman SimsContribution to River Management 
Kenneth Kimball - Gorham, New Hampshire

This award recognizes someone with longer tenure in their career with a history of accomplishments (as opposed to more recent accomplishments sometimes highlighted by the River Manager of the Year Award). Dr. Ken Kimball, director of research at the Appalachian Mountain Club was presented the Outstanding Contribution to River Management Award on March 27, 2017 at Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire.

Ken is recognized for the positive impact of his work in protecting rivers, riparian corridors and watershed resources throughout New England. His participation played a key role in developing a New England coalition that successfully implemented numerous interventions on hydropower projects undergoing relicensing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). With his colleagues, he led the way in developing “settlement agreements” as the preferred alternative in FERC relicensing, including the first landmark “Deerfield Settlement Agreement” that served as a template followed by many subsequent relicensing agreements.  Read more about Ken's lifetime of accomplishment here....

Joan Harn - Frank Church Wild and Scenic Rivers Award WinnerFrank Church Wild and Scenic Rivers - Joan Harn, Washington, D.C.

This award recognizes management, enhancement and/or protection of congressionally-designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. The award was presented to Joan Harn of the National Park Service at River Rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan on May 10, 2017. Joan has been fostering cooperative relationships, promoting awareness/education, and protecting Wild and Scenic Rivers (WSR) since she assumed the role of co-coordinator of the National Park Service’s Wild and Scenic River Steering Committee in 2007, and as the Park Service’s Washington DC representative on the Interagency WSR Coordinating Council. Her passion, expertise, cooperative spirit, and attention to detail have enabled the Park Service to effectively respond to numerous threats and to develop protective measures when responding to complex Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing proposals and major water resource development projects affecting Wild and Scenic Rivers.  To learn more about Joan's accomplishments, please click here...

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RMS appreciates the RMS Awards Committee, whose members contribute their time and care from their home bases across the nation.

To individuals who submitted nominations, and to the RMS Awards Committee members who have dedicate many hours of thoughtful consideration to the annual awards process: thank you!

Congratulations to our honorees!