Billy Frank Jr., longtime chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, was honored recently by the Wilderness Society:

The Wilderness Society will bestow its highest citizen’s honor, the Robert Marshall Award, on Billy Frank, Jr., of Olympia, Washington, at a meeting of its Governing Council Thursday night.

A Nisqually tribal elder and chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for 30 years, Frank has been a pioneering leader in the fight to protect Pacific salmon runs and the Indian treaty rights to those salmon.

“Billy’s success on behalf of the tribes of the Northwest is legendary,” said Wilderness Society President William H. Meadows. “In a room full of state fisheries biologists, lawyers, and policy makers, the Northwest tribes often were the lone voice advocating fishery habitat protection, and it all started with Billy Frank. He understood the link between sound forest management and healthy salmon stocks, and he was a valuable ally in the long campaign to protect roadless areas in our national forests.” His efforts were the subject of a book by Charles Wilkinson, Messages from Frank’s Landing.

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