noosa yoghurt and Morning Fresh Dairy named Northeast Region Partner of the Year — #Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Water courses through the new fish passage at Watson Lake State Wildlife Area. The passage allows fish to swim up and down the river past a diversion dam. Photo credit: Northern Water

Here’s the release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife:

The Graves family, owners of Morning Fresh Dairy and noosa yoghurt, was honored Thursday night with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northeast Region Partner of the Year Award for 2019.

The award was announced at the annual Partners in the Outdoors Conference awards dinner held at the Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center.

The Graves’ were nominated by CPW Assistant Area Wildlife Manager Jason Surface. Rob and Lori Graves were on hand at Thursday’s dinner and banquet to accept the award.

“The entire Graves family, and Rob in particular, deserve this award for their unwavering commitment to the natural resources of Colorado and the mission of CPW,” Surface said. “Through all facets of his life, Rob has recognized the importance of connecting all Coloradoans, including his employees, children, grandchildren and community members to their natural resources and building successful partnerships.”

Rob Graves is co-founder of noosa yoghurt and the Graves family owns a sixth generation dairy farm, Morning Fresh Dairy, in Bellvue, Colo.

The Graves family epitomizes a CPW partnership and has improved the state’s natural resources through stewardship, education, and monetary contribution.

The recently completed fish ladder at the Watson State Wildlife Area and Watson Lake is one recent project that exemplifies their commitment and generosity, and it will be on display next week with the ribbon cutting ceremony to showcase the project’s completion. Graves has been heavily involved with the project from its inception in 2016, funding the conceptual design in 2017 and his leadership and contributions were instrumental in moving the habitat improvement project a reality.

The Watson Lake fish ladder is reconnecting over two river miles on what was a fragmented Poudre River. The stretch there at Watson Lake contains important spawning habitat and deep pool that provides refuge for aquatic life.

“The Graves family have been and continue to be a great partner to CPW and truly help us achieve the goals laid out in both our Strategic Plan and Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP),” Surface said.

“Both of these plans emphasize the importance of wildlife conservation, outdoor stewardship and connecting people to the great outdoors by providing sustainable access and opportunities to outdoor recreation. These are goals they believe deeply in and he has made these a priority for not only himself, but his family, employees and the community of Bellvue as well.”

There are many arenas where the Graves’ family plays a hand in sharing the mission of CPW through conservation and community enhancement.

They develop and make outdoor stewardship ethics a priority, organize volunteer work and maintenance on our public lands, particularly at the Watson State Wildlife Area that they have adopted as their own. They organize and host events like the Pleasant Valley Days, which is focused on bringing the community together and getting people of all ages outdoors.

The ribbon cutting event for the Watson Lake fish ladder is taking place on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at 11 a.m.

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