Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Webinar- Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' Wildlife Viewing and Nature Tourism Working Group 2016 Webinar Series
Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail

August 9, 2016 
Noon- 1:00pm EDT


Description: The Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail traverses almost the entire state of Nebraska from east to west while passing through tall, medium and short grass prairie ecosystems. Providing trail users and residents of the 30 local trail communities with pollinator habitat improvements along the trails, right-of-way, and in their towns is the goal of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) and the Nebraska Tourism Commission. Outdoor educators, tourism experts and administrators are working together to establish and restore high diversity prairie to specifically benefit pollinators, better promote tourism on the trail, and provide outdoor education opportunities for Nebraska citizens and visitors.

Presenters: 
Jamie Bachmann- Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Alex Duryea- Nebraska Tourism Commission
Kirk Nelson- Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Connection: Join the webinar at fwc.adobeconnect.com/wildlifeviewing (sign in as guest, with first and last name; no password required).
Conference call audio: 888-670-3525
Participant code: 835-369-4269

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Webinar: AFWA- State Citizen Science


Meeting Description: The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is hosting a webinar on citizen science targeted at state agency biologists and managers who are interested in using citizen science to meet state data needs or engage new audiences.

Date: Wed., Aug 3, 2016
Time: 1PM EDT
Duration: 1hour
Host: Dr. Judith Scarl

Step 1: Dial-In
    U.S. & Canada: 800.768.2983
    Access Code: 8383462

Step 2: Web Login
    https://cc.callinfo.com/r/1203v02pgb2lu&eom

News Release: YOUNG, DINGELL INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN BILL TO ENHANCE FUNDING FOR FISH AND WILDLIFE

Washington, DC (July 7, 2016) – Yesterday, Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 5650) calling for $1.3 billion in existing revenue from the development of energy and mineral resources on federal lands and waters be dedicated to the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program to conserve a full array of fish and wildlife. 
                          
“Hunters, anglers, recreational shooters and motorized boaters, through fees and licenses, have been the backbone of funding the conservation of America’s fish and wildlife.  Over the years these original conservationists have greatly enhanced the State’s ability to perform science-based management of fish and wildlife species throughout the country,” said Dave Chanda, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.  “Today we find ourselves at a critical crossroad and impending fish and wildlife crisis that could alter our children and grandchildren’s opportunities to enjoy these resources.  If we want to secure the future of all of America’s fish and wildlife resources, a fundamental enhancement in how we finance conservation is essential.  We believe the right path is to begin investing now in a 21st century vision for fish and wildlife.”

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources, comprised of national business and conservation leaders, convened in 2015 to recommend a new mechanism to sustainably fund fish and wildlife conservation. In March 2016, the Panel recommended that a $1.3 billion trust fund be created using existing fees from energy and mineral development on federal lands and water to support implementation of State Wildlife Action Plans in every state, territory and the District of Columbia.

“As a strong supporter of conservation and sportsmen alike, I’m proud to take the lead on an important discussion regarding fish and wildlife conservation across the country,” said Congressman Don Young. “While we’ve seen many great successes in management and conservation projects in the past, this legislation takes a unique approach to allow states to make responsible management decisions at home. As someone who proudly supports the management of fish and game for all Americans – for sportsmen, subsistence purposes, and for future generations – I believe this legislation is a responsible first step in developing a path forward.”

"It has been proven over the decades that incredible gains in species conservation have been made with dedicated sources of funding," Rep. Dingell said. "The Restoring America's Wildlife Act builds off the successes of previous efforts including Pittman-Robertson, Dingell-Johnson, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund by giving state fish and wildlife agencies additional resources they need to proactively manage at-risk wildlife species. I am proud to introduce this legislation with my Republican colleague from Alaska, Mr. Young. We both love the outdoors and know we must work hard to protect our natural resources. To some we may seem the odd couple but together we believe we can get something done that will help bring conservation into the 21st Century and complement the other successful programs that are currently in place."

“America’s hunters, anglers, recreational shooters, and boaters have been the primary funders of state-based conservation efforts to this day,” said Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation President Jeff Crane. “This recommendation simply uses funding for conservation from other sectors that use our natural resources.”

“We have a once in a generation opportunity to save thousands of at-risk wildlife species by investing in proactive, collaborative conservation. By modernizing how we fund conservation of the full diversity of wildlife, we will bolster our natural resources, strengthen our outdoor recreation economy, reduce regulatory uncertainty, improve public health, and bolster community resilience,” said Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation. "We thank Congressman Young and Congresswoman Dingell for their exceptional leadership on the Recovering America's Wildlife Act."

Media Contacts:
Sara Leonard, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

Lacey McCormick, National Wildlife Federation

Patricia Allen, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Thursday, June 16, 2016

2016 “Waters to Watch” List Demonstrates Strength of Partners

The National Fish Habitat Partnership (www.fishhabitat.org) has unveiled its list of 10 “Waters to Watch” for 2016, a collection of rivers, streams, estuaries, lakes and watershed systems that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition. These voluntary, locally-driven projects represent some of the top conservation activities in progress implemented by 19 regional Fish Habitat Partnerships throughout the country. These projects are carried out under the goals and objectives of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (2012). The conservation projects are designed to conserve freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats essential to the many fish and wildlife species that call these areas home. These examples of conservation have been fundamental to the overall success of the National Fish Habitat Partnership since 2006.

Over time, these conservation efforts are reversing persistent declines in our nation’s aquatic habitats. Having featured 100 partnership projects since 2007, these “Waters to Watch” are proving that science-based on-the-ground conservation efforts are truly making a difference in improving fish habitat across the United States.

“In celebrating 10 Years of the National Fish Habitat Partnership, these conservation projects embolden the spirit of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, and showcase the complexities and challenges in making these projects successful,” said Tom Champeau, Chair of the National Fish Habitat Board. “We are highlighting these projects today in hopes that over time these projects will make a marked difference in the conservation of fish habitat. For 2016, we highlighted three of our "Waters to Watch" as "legacy" projects that are making a positive impact both regionally and nationally to help celebrate the success of the partnership since 2006.”

Three of the 10 nominations this year are deemed "Legacy Projects" which have made a significant impact on fish habitat conservation. These projects are selected from previous years “Waters to Watch” projects and help to highlight the National Fish Habitat Partnership as it celebrates its 10-year Anniversary in 2016.

People interested in learning more about the National Fish Habitat Partnership and partner projects happening across the U.S. can find out more information on how to get involved on our Partnerships Page; http://fishhabitat.org/partnerships.

If individuals are interested in contributing to the work of the Fish Habitat Partnerships, Beyond the Pond, a 501(c)3 organization, was established to help build capacity for the 19 Fish Habitat Partnerships established across the country by providing an opportunity to connect with the private sector. Beyond the Pond, has launched a website and proactive communication platform to benefit the National Fish Habitat Partnership. More information can be found at www.beyondthepondusa.com.




The 2016 “Waters to Watch” list and associated Fish Habitat Partnerships:

Carmel River, California
Project Submission by: The California Fish Passage Forum
The Carmel River Reroute and San Clemente Dam Project is the largest dam removal project ever to occur in California ($83 million) and one of the largest to occur on the West Coast. It involved removal of a 106-foot high antiquated dam and implemented a watershed restoration process. The project is intended to provide a long-term solution to the public safety risk posed by the potential collapse of the outdated San Clemente Dam in the event of a large flood or earthquake, which would have threatened 1,500 homes and other public buildings. The project is also designed to restore the river’s natural sediment flow, helping to replenish sand on Carmel Beach and improve habitat downstream of the dam for steelhead. Full project profile: http://bit.ly/1rqstjZ

Cathie Brown Streambank Stabilization and Habitat Improvement Project, Mulberry River, Oark, Arkansas
Project Submission by: The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
This project seeks to stop erosion, reduce sedimentation, reduce elevated water temperatures, and restore a riparian zone of the Mulberry River, a state-designated Extraordinary Resource Waterbody and nationally designated Scenic River. Restoration will take place on private property adjacent to US Forest Service (USFS) lands. This is a cooperative community project that will restore the streambank, reestablish the riparian zone 60 feet out into the floodplain, and educate citizens on water quality and river protection. Full project profile: http://bit.ly/1WNRZ0s

Eel River, Indiana
Project Submission by: The Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership
The mission of the Eel River Initiative is to design and implement a holistic strategy to restore the ecological integrity of the Eel River basin within the context of human endeavors and to provide ecological research opportunities for Manchester University Environmental Studies students.
Full project profile: http://bit.ly/1twJHhv

*Harpeth River, Tennessee (2012)
Project Submission by: The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership
The Harpeth River, one of the most ecologically, culturally, historically, and recreationally significant rivers in Tennessee drains nearly 900 square miles in Middle Tennessee and flows through one of the fastest growing areas in the country. It is a state designated Scenic River in Davidson County and easily accessible from downtown Nashville. Full project profile: http://bit.ly/1XpTcuO

Lake Wichita, Texas
Project Nomination by: The Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership
Lake Wichita is the third oldest reservoir in Texas, completed in 1901. Historically Lake Wichita was known as the “Gem of North Texas”, and served as a recreation destination social mecca, a driving economic force, as a haven for the wise-use and conservation of fish and wildlife resources, and as a foundation for community growth by serving as a drinking water source. Having surpassed its expected 100-year life span, Lake Wichita is no longer able to provide significant social, economic, ecological, or recreational benefits to the community. Having recently gone through a historic drought, we were able to see first-hand the fisheries habitat impairments that plague Lake Wichita. Siltation, degraded shoreline areas, loss of connectivity, excessive nutrients, lack of structural habitat, and lack of water coming from the watershed combine to cause Lake Wichita to cease to meet any of its intended purposes. Full project profile: http://bit.ly/1sGKJa8

Mill Creek and Deer Creek, California
Project Submission by: The California Fish Passage Forum
Chinook salmon and steelhead are part California’s natural heritage, and their recovery and preservation for future generations present both a challenge and an opportunity. Meeting that challenge requires that Deer Creek and Mill Creek, in Tehama County, are restored to their full potential as streams that have been home to salmonids for thousands of years. Deer and Mill creeks are two of only three streams supporting extant self-sustaining wild populations of Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). The Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) is listed as threatened under the State and Federal Endangered Species Acts. Both Deer and Mill creeks are considered conservation strongholds for this ESU, as well as Central Valley steelhead (O. mykiss), which are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act, and fall-run Chinook salmon, listed as a State Species of Special Concern. Full project profile: http://bit.ly/1Q5pJUT

Peno Creek, Missouri
Project Submission by: The Fishers and Farmers Partnership
Agricultural landowners in Peno Creek Priority Watershed (Salt River Basin) are voluntarily installing best management practices to meet NFHP/FFP goals through water quality improvement and habitat protection. Best management practices will reduce erosion, sedimentation, and nutrient loading. Some of these actions include installing alternative drinking sources and stream crossings, fencing cattle out of the stream, reforestation of the riparian corridor, streambank stabilization or other aquatic habitat restoration, and the establishment of cover crops to improve soil health. Stakeholders will continue to be consulted to guide long-term community watershed efforts with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Practices are installed by landowners and contractors under MDC guidance and are guaranteed in place for at least 10 years. Full project profile: http://bit.ly/1WNS7gl

Qwuloolt Estuary, Washington
Project Nomination by: The Pacific Marine and Estuarine Partnership
The Qwuloolt (Qwuloolt means “marsh” in the Lushootseed language) Estuary is located within the Snohomish River floodplain about three miles upstream from its outlet to Puget Sound. Historically, the area was tidal marsh and forest scrub-shrub habitat, interlaced by tidal channels, mudflats, and streams. The project area was cut off from the natural influence of the Snohomish River and Salish Sea tides by levees and drained by ditches instead of stream channels. Prior to the breach, the area was characterized mostly by a monoculture of invasive reed canary grass instead of native estuarine vegetation, and warm water invasive fishes and amphibians. Through the cooperation of its many partners, this project has returned some of the historic and natural influences of the river and tides to the Qwuloolt area. Full project profile: http://bit.ly/1ZRIlrD

*Table Rock Lake, Missouri (2012)
Project Submission by: The Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership
Table Rock Lake was nominated as a "Legacy Project" which have made a significant impact on fish habitat conservation. These projects are selected from previous years Waters to Watch projects and help to highlight the National Fish Habitat Partnership as it celebrates its 10-year Anniversary in 2016. Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo are located in the White River Hills region of the Ozark Plateau along the Missouri-Arkansas border. At conservation pool, Table Rock Lake encompasses 43,100 acres with 745 miles of shoreline, and Lake Taneycomo covers just over 2,000 acres. Table Rock Lake is the second largest of five reservoirs in the upper White River drainage basin which covers over 5,000 square miles in both Missouri and Arkansas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates the recreational use of the lake at between 40 and 50 million visitor visits annually with the economic value of the fishery estimated at $41 million (1997 estimate). Along with the Branson tourism industry, Table Rock and the other White River impoundments are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars pumped into the local economies. Full project profile: http://bit.ly/1rqsEM3

*Weber River, Utah (2012)
Project Submission by: The Desert Fish Habitat Partnership and the Western Native Trout Initiative
The Weber River was nominated as a "Legacy Project" which have made a significant impact on fish habitat conservation. These projects are selected from previous years Waters to Watch projects and help to highlight the National Fish Habitat Partnership as it celebrates its 10-year Anniversary in 2016. This project was funded to protect native fish species and improve water use efficiency for water companies in the Weber River drainage, Utah. It re-connects 17.5 river miles and allows native Bonneville Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarki utah) and Bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus) to pass one mainstem diversion and two culvert barriers that had fragmented mainstem and spawning habitats in two tributaries. Both Bluehead sucker and Bonneville Cutthroat Trout have experienced extensive population declines and range contraction. In the Weber River, Bluehead sucker occur in three remaining fragmented reaches with the strongest population in the Weber River confined below the diversion structure. Allowing passage around this diversion provides Bluehead sucker access to canyon habitat. Full project profile: http://bit.ly/1UzGjYU

*Denotes “Legacy Project” and (year) of “Waters to Watch” Nomination

For more information on project maps and descriptions of the 10 Waters to Watch list for 2016, Visit:http://bit.ly/1trdvvj

Visit the Waters to Watch Homepage for all of our projects from 2007-2016: http://bit.ly/1HeYzWj

Visit http://bit.ly/1dXvu5l, to use our interactive habitat data mapper, supported by USGS.


###

About the National Fish Habitat Partnership:

Since 2006, the National Fish Habitat Partnership has been a partner in 514 projects in 47 states benefiting fish habitat. The National Fish Habitat Partnership works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, tribal, and private funding resources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through priority conservation projects. The national partnership implements the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and supports 19 regional grassroots partner organizations. For more information visit:

http://fishhabitat.org/

http://www.facebook.com/NFHAP

https://twitter.com/FishHabitat

http://www.scoop.it/t/fish-habitat

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

News Release: Winners Announced for the Inaugural Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources



Washington D.C. (June 7, 2016) - The Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards for Natural Resources is pleased to recognize seven organizations and individuals today as the first-ever recipients of the Climate Adaption Leadership Award for Natural Resources. Recipients were selected from 47 nominations representing activities from individuals and federal, tribal, state, local and non-governmental organizations from around the country.

The seven awardees include:
  • Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, U.S. Forest Service (Federal Agency): Incorporating climate vulnerability into over 185 forest management projects across the Midwest, Central Appalachians and the Northeast.
  • Dan Isaak, U.S. Forest Service (Federal Individual): Prioritizing climate-informed conservation of aquatic species and habitats in the Western U.S. by mapping cold-water refuges that can support species at risk.
  • Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (Tribal): Addressing climate risks by conducting vulnerability assessments, developing adaptation plans, and implementing on-the-ground adaptation actions for natural and cultural resources in the Pacific Northwest. 
  • John R. “Jack” Sullivan, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (State/Local Individual): Championing adaptation actions such as watershed-level models of cold-water stream fishery potential and helped to establish the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, the state’s leading climate adaptation organization.
  • Environmental Affairs Division, Seattle City Light (State/Local): Adapting the management of hydropower resources to help ensure that the recovery and protection of listed endangered species can be achieved in the face of climate change.
  • National Wildlife Federation (NGO): Providing national leadership in advancing and promoting climate adaptation across the conservation community, particularly in the development of widely-used adaptation guidance for conservation practitioners.
  • Roundtable on the Crown of the Continent (NGO Partnership): Catalyzing a landscape-scale, collaborative approach to the conservation of natural resources and adaptation actions across 18 million acres in Montana, Alberta and British Columbia.
“Given the magnitude, scope and variety of issues affecting our nation’s natural resources, working together and learning from one another is critical to creating workable solutions to ensure their sustainability,” said Dave Chanda, President of AFWA and Director of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. “This award spotlights outstanding efforts that are helping lead the way through innovative tools and actions towards climate-smart resource conservation and management. It will serve as a source of inspiration for additional efforts that advance climate-smart resource conservation and management.”

The Climate Award Leadership Award was established as part of the Obama Administration's Priority Agenda for Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources, which identified key actions across the federal government to support resilience of America’s vital natural resources and the many people, businesses and communities that depend on them.

The Award is sponsored by the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plant Climate Adaptation Strategy’s Joint Implementation Working Group in partnership with the Department of the Interior (DOI), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA).

For more information about the 2016 Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards for Natural Resource winners, including the seven recipients, honorable mentions, and all 47 nominees, or visit National Fish, Wildlife & Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy website.

For more information or questions, please contact Davia Palmeri at dpalmeri@fishwildlife.org

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Beyond the Pond Non-Profit Established to Benefit National Fish Habitat Partnership


501(c)3 seeks to help Partnerships raise corporate donations and enhance partnership fundraising

(Washington, DC) – The National Fish Habitat Fund, marketed under the brand Beyond the Pond, has launched a website and proactive communication platform to benefit the National Fish Habitat Partnership. Beyond the Pond, a 501(c)3 organization which received IRS approval in 2015, was established to help build capacity for the 19 Fish Habitat Partnerships established across the country by providing an opportunity to connect with the private sector.

Beyond the Pond, has established a Board of Directors, by-laws and charter and has launched a website,  www.beyondthepondusa.com that will serve as a platform to highlight conservation work by our partnerships and serve as space for collaboration.

“Our hope is that Beyond the Pond will catalyze much-needed capacity for our Fish Habitat Partnerships,” said Kelly Hepler, Chair of the Beyond the Pond Board. “Beyond the Pond provides a platform for our Fish Habitat Partnerships to make stronger and beneficial connections with corporations across America and demonstrate how the private sector can work with the government.”

The Beyond the Pond website focuses on the economic, social, and ecological importance of fish habitat conservation, as well as the work of the regional, community-based Partnerships and their successes.   It is designed to assist potential corporate partners and donors in understanding how they can best help make an impact.  In addition to having testimonials from supporting organizations, and highlighting Beyond the Pond conservation goals; the site will provide global coverage of relevant conservation  issues and real-life conservation stories from the 19 Fish Habitat Partnerships and our other

collaborators.  Under the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the 19 Regional Fish Habitat Partnerships are considered chapters of Beyond the Pond, which provides a diverse opportunity to raise funds for on- the-ground habitat conservation projects.

The Board of Director’s for Beyond the Pond includes a wide array of conservation experts from states, conservation organizations, academia and the business community, including:

Mike Andrews (The Nature Conservancy)
Tom Champeau (Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission)
Jon Johnson (University of Arkansas, Walton College of Business)
Kelly Hepler – Board Chair (Secretary, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department)
John Land Le Coq (Fishpond) Dick Ludington (Fay Ranches) Steve Moyer (Trout Unlimited)
Rich Rosengren (The Nature Conservancy)


About the National Fish Habitat Partnership:
Since 2006, the National Fish Habitat Partnership has been a partner in 417 projects in 46 states benefiting fish habitat. The National Fish Habitat Partnership works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, tribal, and private funding resources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through priority conservation projects. The national partnership implements the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and supports 19 regional grassroots partner organizations. For more information visit:

http://fishhabitat.org
http://www.facebook.com/NFHAP
https://twitter.com/FishHabitat  
http://www.scoop.it/t/fish-habitat

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Solar 101 Workshop


When: July 12-13, 2016

Where: Raleigh, NC

Description: The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission have partnered with the solar industry to host the first Solar 101 workshop. This will be a 1.5 day workshop to bring state and federal biologists and the solar industry together to discuss: solar industry siting, operation and maintenance, environmental effects of solar, industry best management practices and current and future research. The second day will be a field visit to a solar farm.

There is no registration fee for this workshop but the workshop is limited to the first 30 people who register. To register for the workshop please go to the following link: http://www.cvent.com/d/qfqtf0/4W

A block of rooms for July 11th -13th has been set aside at the Holiday Inn Raleigh Downtown Capital. The hotel address is 320 Hilsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27603; reservations can be made by calling (855)-914-1878. The room rate is $84.00 per night for July 11th-13th; when making reservations use the AFWA Solar Workshop room block. The cutoff date for hotel reservations at the group rate is June 20th, 2016. If you have questions regarding registration or the hotel room block, please contact Caitlin Gaborow at caitlin@delaneymeetingevent.com or (315) 796-0647.

The workshop will be held at the North Carolina Green Square Building, 1210 Training Room, 217 W. Jones Street. This is within walking distance from the Holiday Inn. Transportation will be provided to the solar site and back to the Holiday Inn on Wednesday, July 13th.

The Association has funding to support a limited number of state fish and wildlife agency staff. Please contact Kathy Boydston at kboydston@fishwildlife.org or (512) 389-8522 to inquire about travel support.





Thursday, May 19, 2016

The State of North America’s Birds 2016 Report Released

North America United by its Birds to Secure Vital Habitats



Washington D.C. (May 19, 2016)- Yesterday, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) published The State of North America’s Birds 2016, the first comprehensive report assessing the conservation status of all bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States and Mexico. The report was released by NABCI partners at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Canada, on behalf of all three countries, with a simultaneous event at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, in partnership with International Migratory Bird Day. NABCI was created by Canada, the United States and Mexico as a tri-national commitment to protect birds and their habitats.

“This report will allow us to base conservation actions on the best available science on the status of birds and their habitats in North America,” said Environment and Climate Change Canada Minister Catherine McKenna. “It is an unprecedented continental analysis, drawing on the efforts of tens of thousands of citizen-scientists from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.”

This report shows that more than one third of all North American bird species need urgent conservation action and calls for a renewed, continent-wide commitment to saving our shared birds and their habitats. Healthy environments for birds also provide benefits to other wildlife and people, such as clean air and water, flood and erosion control, and coastal resilience. When bird populations struggle, our natural resources are stressed. 

The report evaluates the conservation status of all native North American bird species across all major habitats —nine key ecosystems.  It is based on the first-ever conservation vulnerability assessment for all 1,154 native bird species that occur in Canada, the continental U.S., and Mexico, and reflects a collaboration between experts from all three countries.  The overall conservation status of each species takes into account its population trend, population size, extent of breeding and nonbreeding ranges, and severity of threats to populations.  Methodology information, the complete assessment database, animated maps and other resources are available at stateofthebirds.org.

“This report is a superb demonstration of the power of birds, and the growing power of citizen science. Tens of thousands of Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans contributed bird sightings to help produce an unprecedented continent-wide assessment of North America’s birds,” added Dr. John W. Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Because birds are sensitive barometers of environmental health, I encourage leaders across our three nations, in both government and industry, to consider the findings in this report, which is based on the best available science about our bird populations. Across the continent, it is the will of the people that these species and their habitats be conserved for the future.”

The State of North America’s Birds Report is being released during the Centennial year of the Migratory Bird Treaty, an agreement between the United States and Canada that promised collaborative conservation to protect the migratory birds of North America.  In 1936, twenty years after the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty, Mexico and the U.S. committed to a similar treaty, connecting all of North America in its efforts to protect our shared species.  This report reflects a groundbreaking collaboration to evaluate bird populations across the continent. It calls for a renewed commitment to continental bird conservation agreements to keep our shared birds safe and healthy for the next 100 years.

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is a key NABCI partner in the United States.  Three of the Association’s Committees or Working Groups- the Bird Conservation Committee, Resident Game Bird Working Group, and Migratory Shore and Upland Game Bird Working Group- are represented in the NABCI partnership.  For more information about AFWA’s partnership with NABCI, contact AFWA’s Bird Conservation Program Manager, Judith Scarl jscarl@fishwildlife.org

For more information and to read the full report, visit www.stateofthebirds.org
Learn more about the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial celebration at www.fws.gov/birds/MBTreaty100
For more ideas about how you can support bird conservation, visit www.stateofthebirds.org/change .

About NABCI
The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) was created by the governments of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in 1999 after the diplomacy that produced NAFTA.  The NABCI agreement recognized birds as an international “natural economic resource.”  NABCI is a trinational commitment to protecting, restoring, and enhancing populations and habitats of North America’s birds—with an integrated vision for “all birds and all habitats.”  For more information, please visit:  http://www.nabci-us.org/

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Making the Connection with Millennials

Join us for a webinar on May 19, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT. 

Join us for the next Conservation Education Strategy webinar on May 19th at 12:00 eastern. One hour of your time will equate to more success in reaching the Millennial Generation -- confident, politically independent young people who as a group have overtaken Baby Boomers in population size, according to the Pew Research Center.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Wind and Wildlife Workshop

Where: NREL’s National Wind Technology Center, Louisville, CO
When: From June 21, 2016 - June 23, 2016 (June 20th and 24th as travel days)
Lodging: Omni Interlocken Hotel (reservation cut-off date May 27, 2016)

The full price for this event is $300.00. More information is available at http://www.batcon.org/wind

This 3 day workshop will combine science, conservation, and education to provide participants with the latest in research and monitoring techniques. Topics will include an overview of wind and wildlife issues, but the majority of time will be on field methods and equipment, data analysis and interpretation, and current and promising minimization strategies to reduce bat and bird fatalities at wind energy facilities. Participants should plan on gaining hands-on experience underneath wind turbines and using the latest software for estimating impact.

This workshop will provide classroom instructions and field demonstrations of post-construction methodology including
  • Grassland bird surveys
  • Raptor surveys
  • Fatality monitoring surveys
  • Night-time field demonstrations of thermal and near-infrared videography and ultrasonic detectors 

This will be complimented by classroom instructions and hands-on training, including 
  • Fatality estimation
  • Evidence of absence analysis, focusing on challenges of detecting rare or endangered species
  • Post-processing of thermal video
  • Impact reduction and mitigation options for bats and birds 

This workshop will help individuals plan projects, implement field methods, interpret reports, and better understand wildlife and wind energy issues. The diversity of participants and instructors will provide multiple perspectives related to these issues.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is hosting the workshop*. Meals and refreshments provided by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Bat Conservation International. Registration fees include transportation to and from the wind energy facility and conference hotel, course materials, and instruction by leading experts from American Wind Wildlife Institute, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Bat Conservation International, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc., Zotz Ecological Solutions, and others.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

News Release: Bipartisan Members of Congress Urge Colleagues to Support State and Tribal Wildlife Grants to Prevent Endangered Species Listings

Washington D.C. (April 28, 2016) - Senators Mike Crapo (ID) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Congressmen Don Young (AK), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Mike Thompson (CA), and Ron Kind (WI) were joined by 188 of their fellow Members of Congress on a “Dear Colleague” letter to appropriators in support of funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program next fiscal year.

In both letters, Members urged their Subcommittees on Interior, Environment and Related agencies to provide robust funding for the program to support proactive conservation to prevent fish and wildlife from becoming endangered. 

“By emphasizing a proactive approach, the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program supports states and territories in their efforts to conserve at-risk fish and wildlife,” said Dave Chanda, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.  “Early, preventive conservation of at-risk species and their habitats is the most cost-effective investment of taxpayer dollars and most efficient way to address the challenges facing all wildlife today.”

The State & Tribal Wildlife Grants program is the only federal program available to states, territories, District of Columbia and tribes to conserve more than 12,000 fish and wildlife identified in State Wildlife Action Plans as species in greatest need of conservation. State Wildlife Action Plans were recently revised and updated with the best science and rely on funding from the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program for implementation. The program has the support of the 6,475 organizations that make up the ‘Teaming with Wildlife’ coalition, representing millions of conservationists. This investment helps supports jobs and the $730 billion outdoor recreational industry. 

“I’m proud to have led over 150 of my House colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, in calling on appropriators to fully fund the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program in Fiscal Year 2017,” said Thompson. “This program is incredibly effective. And today, when many species are facing decreased populations, we need to fully fund the only federal program designed to prevent species from being listed as endangered.”

“Conservation is at the very core of keeping wildlife off the endangered species list,” said Congressmen Don Young. “By creating a successful partnership between the states, territories, tribal lands, and federal government we can come together in a bipartisan manner to support a proven wildlife management program with unquestionable results”

“We are pleased with the bipartisan support for our nation’s core program to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered. This legislation addresses a pressing issue that both Democrats and Republicans agree on and are working towards forward-thinking solutions,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “This program has been proven effective in the past; as evidenced by such species as the fisher in the Pacific Northwest and the New England Cottontail. Both of these iconic species have been successfully reintroduced and now not under consideration for listing under the Endangered Species Act.”   


A total of 194 Members of Congress, including 30 Republicans, 162 Democrats, and 2 Independents from 43 states and territories signed on to the letters this year demonstrating broad bipartisan support for fish and wildlife conservation funding.  The list of members who signed the letters is available here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

We're Hiring!! Open recruitment for a Blue Ribbon Panel Campaign Manager

Job Announcement


Position Title: Blue Ribbon Panel Campaign Manager Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources

Position Location: Washington, D.C.

Reports to: Executive Director

Job Type: Full-time, Term. Campaign is expected to last 3-5 years.

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Please include salary expectations in cover letter.

For more information about position summary, specific responsibilities, qualification, and how to apply- Click HERE!

Check Out AFWA's 2015 Annual Report


The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies released its 2015 Annual Report featuring the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Fish and Wildlife Resources, comprised of national business and conservation leaders.

As our 2015-2016 President, Dave Chanda, shares in his welcome letter, “The work of the Blue Ribbon Panel is a game changer- it may represent the biggest conservation initiative of our respective careers, and we have an opportunity to radically enhance the stateside conservation funding landscape.”

The report also reflects AFWA’s four strategic goals to (1) advocate for sound conservation policies and legislation; (2) secure and sustain funding for conservation; (3) strengthen conservation partnerships; and (4) support members’ engagement within the Association.

If you would like to receive additional copies of the 2015 Annual Report, please visit www.fishwildlife.org to download and share a PDF version.

To receive a hard copy of AFWA's 2015 Annual Report, email egreen@fishwildlife.org

AFWA is Soliciting Letters of Intent for the 2017 Multistate Conservation Grant Program

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies is currently soliciting Letters of Intent for the 2017 Multistate Conservation Grant Program (MSCGP). Up to $6 million dollars is available each calendar year for projects that address regional- or national-level priorities of the state fish and wildlife agencies through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Letters of Intent (LOI) must address one or more of the 12 MSCGP National Conservation Needs for 2017 that were recently selected by state fish and wildlife agency directors at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in March 2016.

Letters of Intent will be evaluated based on responsiveness to the National Conservation Needs; scientific quality; practical relevance to state agencies; value; and qualifications. Grants are awarded on a calendar-year basis for one, two or three years to eligible recipients.

Please read the full Solicitation Notice and Submission Guidelines for details.

LOIs must be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format to the MSCGP Coordinator no later than 5:00pm (Eastern Time) on Friday, May 6, 2016.  The National Grants Committee and appropriate AFWA committees will review and evaluate the LOIs.  In June, the National Grants Committee will invite the applicants with the most competitive LOIs to submit a full grant proposal for consideration.

12 National Conservation Needs Selected for the 2017 Cycle of the Multistate Conservation Grant Program

State fish and wildlife agency directors approved a slate of 12 National Conservation Needs for the 2017 Multistate Conservation Grant Program (MSCGP)on March 17, 2016 during the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

NCN 1: Outdoor Heritage – Participation, Recruitment, and Retention in Hunting, Fishing, Boating, and Conservation-related Recreational Activities; Enhanced Relations Among State Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Related Industries

NCN 2: Strengthening the National Fish Habitat Partnership

NCN 3: The Management Assistance Team (MAT) or similar entity to increase leadership capacity and agency effectiveness within state fish and wildlife agencies and the conservation community through leadership and professional development initiatives, training, consulting, and support of the National Conservation Leadership Institute

NCN 4: Incorporating Fish and Wildlife Considerations into Energy Development Decisions

NCN 5: Preserve State Wildlife Agencies’ Authority to Manage Wildlife Resources and Promote Their Interest in the Implementation of International Treaties and Conventions

NCN 6: Policy and Legislative Advocacy - Implementing Goal 2 of AFWA's Strategic Plan

NCN 7: Implementing the Recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources

NCN 8: Improve benefits for fish, wildlife, and their habitats as the 2014 and future Farm Bills are implemented

NCN 9: State Fish & Wildlife Coordination and Administration

NCN 10: Management of the 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (National Survey)

NCN 11: Strengthening the State Fish and Wildlife Agency/Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Partnership

NCN 12: Multistate Conservation Grant Program Coordination

The MSCGP funding Letter of Intent Announcement and Guidelines is on the AFWA website.

Each year, up to $6 million is available to fund MSCGP projects.  AFWA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cooperatively administer the Multistate Conservation Grant Program.



Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Webinar: Overview of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America's Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources



Spend an hour learning how we’re looking to address one of the most urgent problems facing fish and wildlife…how to sustainably fund the conservation of ALL fish and wildlife. Join the Conservation Education Strategy and our panelist, Patricia Allen, Communications Director for AFWA to learn more about this important initiative that has the potential to change the future of conservation.



Thu, Apr 14, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

Thursday, March 3, 2016

News Release: ENERGY, BUSINESS AND CONSERVATION LEADERS CALL FOR $1.3 BILLION ANNUAL INVESTMENT FOR STATES

ENERGY, BUSINESS AND CONSERVATION LEADERS CALL FOR $1.3 BILLION ANNUAL INVESTMENT FOR STATES
A 21st Century Vision for Investing in and Connecting People to Nature

Washington, DC (March 2, 2016)- A group of energy, business and conservation leaders today released their recommendations on how to avert the growing endangered species crisis in this country. The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources determined that utilizing a portion of revenues from energy and mineral development on federal lands and waters to fund state-based conservation could address conservation needs for thousands of species. An annual investment of $1.3 billion from these development revenues into the currently unfunded Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program would allow state fish and wildlife agencies to proactively manage these species reducing taxpayer costs and the regulatory red tape that comes when species are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. The number of species petitioned for listing under the Act has increased by 1,000 percent in less than a decade.

“A lot is at stake if we don’t act soon. For every species that is thriving in our country, hundreds of species are in decline.  These recommendations offer a new funding approach that will help ensure all fish and wildlife are conserved for future generations, “said former Wyoming governor, David Freudenthal, co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel.  “We need to start down a new path where we invest proactively in conservation rather than reactively.”

The Blue Ribbon Panel was assembled in 2014 and met three times to produce recommendations and policy options on the most sustainable and equitable model to fund conservation of the full array of fish and wildlife species. The panel was co-chaired by Freudenthal and John L. Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops. It includes representatives from the outdoor recreation retail and manufacturing sector, the energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups and state fish and wildlife agencies. During their meetings, panelists agreed that an increased investment in fish and wildlife conservation makes fiscal sense and is needed to protect our natural heritage. Their recommendation would redirect and dedicate $1.3 billion each year from the over $10 billion in revenues from energy development (both renewable and traditional) and mineral development on federal lands and waters.

“Conservation means balancing the sustainability of fish and wildlife resources with the many needs of humans for clean air and water, land, food and fiber, dependable energy, economic development, and recreation. It is our responsibility to lead the way so our state fish and wildlife agencies have the resources they need to conserve species and manage our natural resources – the future of our industry and the outdoor sports we love depend on this investment,” noted Morris. “Redirecting revenues from energy and mineral development to state-based conservation is a simple, logical solution, and it is now up to our leaders in Congress to move this concept forward.”

State fish and wildlife agencies have primary responsibility for managing species within their borders, as well as conserving important habitats and providing outdoor recreation opportunities. Traditionally, agencies have been funded by sportsmen through license fees and excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment and motorboat fuels – most agencies receive very limited funding through general taxpayer dollars. Agencies have not been able to keep pace with the growing challenge as habitat is lost and species decline and hunter and angler participation has declined. States have developed state wildlife action plans identifying 12,000 species in greatest need for conservation efforts. However, limited funding requires prioritization of the species facing the highest risk of endangerment leaving thousands of other species and their habitats hanging in the balance.

Proactive conservation saves tax payer dollars by addressing species needs early so that costly “emergency room” interventions are avoided. Preventing threatened and endangered species listings helps business by averting project delays and losses from forfeited opportunities due to land use regulations. In addition, investing in conservation is vital to sustaining our natural infrastructure that supports numerous indispensable benefits such as pollination, water purification, erosion control, flood control, recreation, food production and cultural amenities.

_______________________________________________________________
Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America's Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources

Co-Chairs John Morris, Founder, Bass Pro Shops; David Freudenthal, Former Governor State of Wyoming; Crowell & Moring. Members: Kevin Butt, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, NA, Inc.; Richard Childress, Richard Childress Racing Enterprises/NRA; Jeff Crane, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Bruce Culpepper, Shell Americas; John Doerr, Pure Fishing, Inc.; Jim Faulstich, Partners for Conservation; John Fitzpatrick, Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Greg Hill, Hess Corporation; Becky Humphries, National Wild Turkey Federation; Stephen Kellert, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; Jennifer Mull, Outdoor Industry Association; John Newman, Ducks Unlimited, Inc.; Mike Nussman, American Sportfishing Association; Margaret O'Gorman, Wildlife Habitat Council; Glenn Olson, National Audubon Society; Collin O'Mara, National Wildlife Federation; Connie Parker, CSParker Group; Charlie Potter, Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation; Steve Sanetti, National Shooting Sports Foundation; John Tomke, Wildlife & Hunting Heritage Conservation Council; Jeff Trandahl, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation; James Walker, EDF Renewable Energy; Steve Williams, Wildlife Management Institute; Bob Ziehmer, Missouri Department of Conservation. Ex Officio Members: Michael Bean, US Department Interior; Ronald Regan, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Media Advisory: Energy, Business and Conservation Leaders to Announce Strategy to Prevent Endangered Species Crisis


Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources



MEDIA ADVISORY
Energy, Business and Conservation Leaders to Announce Strategy to Prevent Endangered Species Crisis

Press Conference at National Press Club on March 2 at 3:00 pm EST

Contact:         Jodi Stemler (703) 915-1386
                        Patricia Allen (202) 838-3461

A group of energy, business and conservation leaders will release their recommendations on how to avert the growing fish and wildlife crisis in this country. The number of species petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act has increased by 1,000 percent in less than a decade. In addition, over 12,000 species have been identified by states as species in greatest conservation need. The recommendations to be released on March 2 represent the vision of a diverse group of 26 conservation and business leaders and focus on how to proactively manage species to reduce taxpayer costs and the regulatory red tape that comes when species are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources was created in 2014 to develop policy options on the most sustainable and equitable model to fund conservation of the full array of fish and wildlife species. The panel was co-chaired by former Wyoming governor, David Freudenthal, and John L. Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops and includes representatives from the outdoor recreation retail and manufacturing sector, the energy and automotive industries, private landowners, educational institutions, conservation organizations, sportsmen’s groups and state fish and wildlife agencies.

Who:      Dave Chanda, Director of the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies       
David Freudenthal, Former Governor State of Wyoming; Senior Counsel, Crowell and Moring
John Morris, Founder Bass Pro Shops (Invited)
Jeff Crane, President Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation

When:    Wednesday March 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm EST
Where: National Press Club, Murrow/White/Lisagor Room 13th Floor
Dial In: 800-768-2950

RSVP:   detail1@fishwildlife.org

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Don't Get Lost Without your Roadmap: A Webinar on Strategic Planning for Fish & Wildlife Agencies

A Timmons Group Webinar Series

In the world of Fish and Wildlife agencies, customers expect mobile solutions and the ability to interact with data from agencies anywhere and at any time.  This webinar will present case studies to show what organizations are doing well related to data management, mobile solutions for the public, and use of technology solutions to better support internal operations, create efficiency and growth.
Lowell will focus on building an effective RoadMap with an emphasis on organizations who are looking to provide better efficiencies inside their organizations and better services to their clients. Lowell will emphasize the importance of prioritizing business strategies, advise on the best practice techniques for improvement, and share how to increase internal efficiencies while improving outreach and education.

About the Presenter
Lowell has 23 years of experience and is a recognized leader in the integration of geospatial and traditional information technologies and GIS Strategic Planning. Timmons Group’s technology and geospatial division has years of strategic planning and data/application development experience.

When:
Thursday, February 25th
2-3pm EST

Presented by:
Lowell Ballard
Director of Geospatial Technology

Hosted by:
Sarah Dennis, GISP
Geospatial Client Manager

Click HERE to Register TODAY!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION 101 WORKSHOP - April 26-28, 2016 – CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

The workshop is designed to train state fish and wildlife agency and federal agency personnel who are involved in the review and permitting of electric transmission line projects.  The workshop provides the opportunity for state and federal agency staff to meet members of the electric utility industry and gain an understanding of the planning and design process for electric transmission. 
The objectives of the workshop are to: 

  • Inform agency personnel about the electric transmission planning and design process
  • Help agency personnel understand how to effectively integrate into the electric transmission planning, design and permitting process  
  • Facilitate communication with industry and the permitting authorities to design these projects to avoid and minimize impacts to fish and wildlife resources 

The training course is based on the Electric Systems Short Course developed by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. The instructors will include staff from EEI, Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC), Duke Energy, North Carolina Wildlife Commission and FWS Region 4 personnel 

WhereDuke Energy Environmental Center in Huntersville, NC (just north of Charlotte)
When: April 26-28, 2016 (includes field trip to electrical transmission line rights-of way
LodgingCountry Inn and Suites Lake Norman, Huntersville, NC (704-895-6565), with a room rate of $89.00/night for April 25th-29th
Note: Make reservations BEFORE April 4th 
Food: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch will be provided all three days as well as a welcome dinner on Tuesday night.
Cost: $75 for state and federal employees and $100.00 for industry and non-governmental organizations.
Registration OPEN now until April 18th.  Click here to register.
Limit: 50 participants
Check out the Flyer here.

Travel assistance is available from AFWA for a limited number of state fish and wildlife agency personnel.  This would include airfare, hotel, per diem and registration.  Please contact Kathy Boydston (kboydston@fishwildlife.org 512-389-8522) as soon as possible if you require travel assistance. 

Pipeline Workshop - North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference

Onshore Oil and Gas Subcommittee -March 16th, 1-5 pm, Pittsburgh, PA

This is a four hour workshop during the Onshore Oil, Gas and Mineral Subcommittee.  This workshop will provide a forum for federal and state agencies, the industry and conservation organizations to discuss the pipeline permitting process at the federal and state level.  Attendees will be involved in the discussion of current permitting processes, best management practices and will be able to engage with the pipeline industry to better understand their development and permitting process and how to work together more effectively to minimize the impacts of pipelines on fish and wildlife resources. 

Speakers are from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Williams Energy, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy and Integrated Vegetation Management Partners.

The conference hotel is the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Pittsburgh; 
Attendees will need to register at the one day conference rate- you can register here


There is some limited travel support for state fish and wildlife agencies to attend this workshop, please contact Kathy Boydston with AFWA (kboydston@fishwildlife.org  512-389-8522).  If you have questions regarding the workshop, please contact Kathy.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Press Release- Regional Conservation Partnership Program Pools Together $220 Million Investment from USDA, up to $500 Million from Local Partnership to Improve Water Quality, Soil Health, Habitat and More



The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) applauds today’s $720 million funding announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack on the second round of Regional Conservation Partnership Programs (RCPP). The RCPP was created by the 2014 Farm Bill to support partnership-driven, innovative conservation projects on farms, ranches and private forest land.

“I’d like to thank USDA Secretary Vilsack and Chief Jason Weller of the Natural Resources Conservation Service for their continuing support of fish and wildlife conservation projects and partnerships that are important to and priorities of state fish and wildlife agencies across the country,” stated AFWA Executive Director Ron Regan. “RCPP is one of many examples of successful collaborative conservation that keeps our lands working for our nation’s fish and wildlife, and all Americans while reducing regulatory threats and risks, providing national food security, and keeping the rural economy humming.”

The 84 projects selected for 2016 included proposed partner matches totaling over $500 million, more than tripling the federal investment alone. These projec
ts will help communities improve water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agriculture viability. The Association is pleased to see that five of the selected 2016 projects list state fish and wildlife agencies as the lead partners. Twenty-five percent of awarded funds focus on fish and wildlife habitats as the primary resource concern and address a variety of priority species including the greater sage-grouse, monarch butterfly, lesser prairie-chicken, and golden cheeked warbler.

The USDA is committed to invest $1.2 billion in RCPP partnerships over the life of the 2014 Farm Bill. Today’s announcement brings the current USDA commitment to almost $600 million for conservation activities in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Read the USDA’s RCCP announcement
Learn more about AFWA’s Agricultural Conservation Focus Area

> Check out our press release online.