2018 River Management Awards

The River Management Society (RMS) congratulates winners of its 2018 River Management Awards, individuals whose achievements and leadership among river professionals inspire us. We are particularly excited about these awardees, nominated by their peers and reviewed by the RMS Awards Committee: as they are all members of this organization. 

Photos courtesy of Meredith Meeks

River Manager of the Year - Corita Waters
Contribution to the River Management Society - Ryan Turner
Contribution to River Management - Herm Hoops
Frank Church Wild and Scenic Rivers Award - Jim Eicher

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. Four individuals were recognized for their contributions to river management Tuesday, October 23, 2018 during the Wild, Scenic, and Beyond! River Management Symposium. 

River Manager of the Year
Corita Waters - Washington, DC

This award recognizes field-oriented individuals and normally focuses on recent accomplishments.  Corita Waters has become a veteran in welcoming and promoting river conservation and recreation access through the National Park Service technical assistance program to river communities across the nation. Her thoughtfulness, optimism, and dedication, effectively contributes to river management as she advocates for river staff, dollars, standards, and protection.  One of Corita’s major successes in recent years is developing innovative river management techniques through her work to establish the National Water Trail System (NWTS). Because of her ability to resolve complex issues relating to river management, Corita was an essential member of the team that created the NWTS as a new program: naming the program, determining how it should be organized, developing criteria and soliciting applications, setting up websites, coordinating interagency meetings, spearheading the selection committee, and getting Secretarial approval. Now with 21 Water Trails, the NWTS exemplifies best practices for recreation opportunities, education, conservation, community support, public information, trail maintenance, and planning.  Learn more about Corita's awesome work here.

Contribution to the RMS
Ryan Turner - Cottonwood, Idaho

This award recognizes contributions at the national or regional level that result in greater organizational effectiveness, efficiency, growth, positive change, or enthusiasm.  Ryan  Turner began his career with the BLM Cottonwood Field Office in 2010 and works as a full-time year round Park Ranger/River Ranger for the Lower Salmon River Recreation Program.  Ryan has been a member of the River Management Society (RMS) since 2010 and was awarded with a year’s membership for winning the 2011 RMS Wild and Scenic Rivers Photo Contest. He jumped into helping the Northwest Chapter by running for and serving as its Secretary from 2011-2014 and has served as the Northwest Chapter Vice President since 2015. Ryan helped organize multiple Northwest Chapter events since joining RMS, including the Lower Salmon River Chapter event in 2015. Most recently, Ryan helped organize and instruct the 2017 NW Chapter River Ranger Rendezvous (RRR) hosted by the BLM and RMS through which significant funds were raised for Northwest Chapter scholarships. Not only does Ryan contribute his time and effort to RMS, he stands as the example of what we expect of our members. He continually strives to make the organization, as well as the rivers we use, a memorable experience.  Learn more about Ryan's accomplishment here.

Contribution to River Management 
Herm Hoo manufacturers of rafts and other inflatable boats for historical journals, river conservation magazines, and outfitter trade group publications. 

Herm has served on the boards of several organizations, including Plateau Restoration, Conservation Adventures and Colorado Plateau River Guides. He has always been a mentor leading a willing younger generation into a purposeful life of river stewardship in The History of Inflatable Boats and How They Saved Rivers, and outfitters who today donate expertise to allow decision makers to understand the arteries our lives. He has spent a lifetime relentlessly participating in every planning process affecting rivers where he could effect change, and shown us what is possible when we are willing to go the extra mile.  Learn more about Herm's lifetime of experiences here.


Frank Church Wild and Scenic Rivers
Jim Eicher -  El Dorado Hills, California

Jim has been a river ranger, manager, leader, networker, facilitator, expert negotiator with the Federal Energy RegulatoryCommission (FERC), mentor, consultant, and a proponent of the profession of river management. His history of accomplishments includes: community-based planning, and as an expert negotiator in the FERC relicensing process, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and Section 7, partnerships, coordinating and cooperating whole river basin (multi-state) strategies; recreational law enforcement; river-based recreation management; allocation and carrying capacity techniques; negotiating political issues and dealing with special interest groups. Jim managed the Wild and Scenic North Fork American, Merced, and Tuolumne Rivers as well as the South Fork American, Consumnes, Mokelumne, and Yuba.  He has floated hundreds of miles, driven the roads, hiked the trails, and sought out the public and outfitters to not only garner support for Wild and Scenic Rivers but to ask their advice in how to better care for them. Jim was the primary author of BLM’s Merced Wild and Scenic River Management Plan and was responsible for the Saxon Creek Water Project. He served on the Interagency Wild and Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council, and actively consulted with the National Park Service and contributed to the NPS Yosemite Valley Planning effort and the revised Merced River Management Plan.  Learn more about Jim's accomplishments here.

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 RMS thanks 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 for their dedication to the wise management of our rivers!