Monday, February 1, 2016

Webinar: Bsal Rulemaking and Permitting Q&A Session #1

This is the FIRST of three Q&A webinars sponsored by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) to address a) the recent USFWS rulemaking listing salamanders as injurious in the Lacey Act, b) potential impacts to existing research and conservation efforts from the rulemaking, and c) permitting requirements and compliance. Two or more USFWS representatives from the branches involved in the rulemaking and in the permitting, or in law enforcement, will be on the line to answer questions directly.

Rescheduled Date: Feb 8th
Time: 2PM ET
Duration: 2 hours
Register HERE!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Webinar- Power of Empowerment

Register TODAY for Power of Empowerment (POE-101) Webinar

Date: February 11, 2016 from 1-2PM ET.

Course Fee: None

No matter your position, most organizational pressure to perform is self-imposed. It’s a result of being so busy being busy, not doing what you’re really supposed to do, or not understanding your role and responsibility. Learn the truth about your leadership weaknesses and the impact on your team and agency, and position yourself to change your thinking and behaviors.

Simply put, when you do your job better, you are in a better position to help your employees perform theirs better too.

At the end of this webinar, Participants will know the following:

Distinctions between delegate & empower

  • Significance of TRUST
  • Barriers to empowerment
  • Benefits of empowerment
  • Significance of empowerment leadership development

National Conservation Leadership Institute Fellowship Applications

The National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI) will begin accepting nominations for its eleventh Cohort on February 1st, 2016 from state fish and wildlife agencies and the conservation community nationwide. 

In today's rapidly evolving world, organizations face unprecedented challenges that demand professionals with extraordinary leadership skills. NCLI was designed by multiple conservation groups ten years ago to address that demand. Today numerous organizations realize the value of the program, sending employees year after year. Following the world-renowned principles of Adaptive Leadership™, NCLI helps high-achieving conservation professionals learn advanced, adaptive problem-solving skills; establish life-long, high-trust relationships across organizational boundaries; and foster meaningful dialogue among the diverse voices that collectively represent conservation in America.
We encourage you to submit up to three nominations from your agency to compete for one of 36 spaces in this world class leadership development program. Final selection is highly competitive so begin your internal recruitment now. 
As always, applicants to the NCLI must be nominated by their agency director. Nominations will be accepted February 1 until April 30, 2016. Please visit for further information on the nomination process, or contact Amanda Myers at 304.876.7797.

Staff Contact: Amanda Myers;

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Webinar: Bsal Rulemaking and Permitting Q&A Session #3

Mark your calendars! This is the last of three Q&A webinars sponsored by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to address a) the recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rulemaking listing salamanders as injurious in the Lacey Act, b) potential impacts to existing research and conservation efforts from the rulemaking, and c) permitting requirements, and compliance.
Rescheduled Date: Feb 10
Time: 1 PM ET
Duration:2 hours
Register HERE!

Webinar: Bsal Rulemaking and Permitting Q&A Session #2

Mark your calendars! This is the second of three Q&A webinars sponsored by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to address a) the recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rulemaking listing salamanders as injurious in the Lacey Act, b) potential impacts to existing research and conservation efforts from the rulemaking, and c) permitting requirements, and compliance.

Rescheduled Date: Feb 9
Time: 1 PM ET
Duration:2 hours
Register HERE!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jan. 22 Nomination Deadline This Week for Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources

Do you know individuals or organizations that are making a difference to increase understanding of climate impacts on natural resources and/or providing innovative approaches to reducing impacts, improving response capabilities, and increasing resilience in a changing climate?

Nominate them for the new Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources and help us recognize their outstanding efforts to increase awareness and safeguard U.S. natural resources from climate change.

The deadline to submit nominations is January 22, 2016. Learn more at

The Climate Adaption Leadership Award is sponsored by the National Fish, Wildlife and Plant Climate Adaptation Strategy in partnership with the Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Hurry Hurry!

Teaming with Wildlife Fly-in and Release of the Blue Ribbon Panel Recommendations

March 1-2, 2016
Washington, DC

Association Applauds Greater Sage-Grouse Decision

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, speaking for its 50 state fish and wildlife agency members, territories and provinces, today congratulates U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for the federal government's decision not to list the Greater sage-grouse as a threatened or endangered bird under the Endangered Species Act. The Greater sage-grouse lives in 11 of the Western states: California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming and has a range reaching across 257,000 square miles, including two Canadian provinces. AFWA President Dave Chanda, Director, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, wishes to express AFWA's members' gratitude for the states, the federal agencies, the ranchers and the energy industry leaders that came together to protect the sagebrush habitat and this iconic western bird. Chanda stated, "In this unprecedented collaboration between federal, state and local agencies, and the private sector, we have gained enormous experience in what we can accomplish on a landscape scale when we work together."

> Check out this and other news releases.

Environment Canada releases its new 2015 Migratory Game Bird Hunting e-Permit

On August 4, 2015, Environment Canada launched an improved e-Permitting system to allow the purchase of printable electronic Migratory Game Bird Hunting (MGBH) Permits online. The e-Permit is available to hunters in Canada and the United States. On average, 17,225 U.S. hunters purchase the MGBH permit each year in Canada. The MGBH e-permitting system is available at the following web link:

The National Conservation Leadership Institute Announces the Fellows of Cohort 10

The National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI) is pleased to announce the 10th cohort of 36 Fellows for the 2015-2016 leadership development program. These conservation professionals will join the ranks of Fellows, now alumni, previously selected since 2006 from state agencies, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and companies working in the natural resources industry. NCLI Fellows have become widely regarded as future senior leaders who will help to build a conservation legacy for the next generation.

Dawn Anderson, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks 
Scott Anderson, North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission 
Peter Bangs, Alaska Department of Fish and Game  
Mandy Chadwick, Caterpillar, Inc.  
Steve Chadwick, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Karie Decker, Nebraska Department of Game and Fish 
Paul Dey, Wyoming Game and Fish Department 
Jennifer Doherty, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation  
Patricia Dorsey, Colorado Parks and Wildlife 
Billy Dukes, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Geofrey Eckerlin, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Guy Foulks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service    
Dan Garren, Idaho Department of Game and Fish
Christine Hall, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
Mandy Harling, National Wild Turkey Federation
Gerold Holden, Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Alan Jenne, Nevada Department of Wildlife
William Labiosa, USGS Northwest Region
Michael Larson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Mike Livingston, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Eric Lobner, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Kristin Madden, New Mexico Game and Fish

Kirsten Mauritzson, Caterpillar, Inc.   
Michelle McClure, NOAA Fisheries
Craig McMullen, Arizona Game and Fish Department
Kara Meckley, NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation 
Adam Miller, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife

Brian Moyer, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries   
Louise Murgia, Society of American Foresters
Eben Paxton, USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center 
Carole Stanko, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
Catherine Phillips, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  
Stephen Shea, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 
Jason Sumners, Missouri Department of Conservation  
Matt Wagner, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 
Ted Will, Georgia Department of Natural Resources 

The 36 Fellows of Cohort 10 will begin their intensive 8-month training experience at the National Conservation Training Center in October 2015. They will join an ever-growing network of more than 317 professionals who have come together from conservation organizations across the nation to further develop their leadership capacity through the NCLI experience. 

> To learn more about the NCLI, go to 

The Summer Issue of The AFWA Strategist- Now Online!

The Summer issue of The AFWA Strategist is now available! Articles include brief updates on re-authorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund; State and Tribal Wildlife Grant Program FY16 Funding; ESA Petition Rule, information about two upcoming Blue Ribbon Plan Listening Sessions; details about FWA's upcoming Annual Meeting; and more.

> Download the Summer 2015 issue of the AFWA Strategist

Thursday, May 28, 2015

AFWA's HQ office move

AFWA HQ is in a whirl of activity as we prepare to move to our new office starting tomorrow. Well, I guess that's what happens when you're boxing up 100+ years of Association history. We'll be back up and running on June 2nd!

Please note our new address:
1100 First Street NE
Suite 825
Washington, DC 20002

Phone: 202/838-3474
Fax: 202/350-9869 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Statement from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Regarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA’s Proposal on Endangered Species Petitions Regulations

The Association of Fish &  Wildlife Agencies applauds the intent of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services) announcement today to increase engagement with state fish and wildlife agencies in formulating petitions to list species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).          

As part of the Services’ proposal, petitioners would be required to consult with state fish and wildlife agencies prior to filing ESA petitions. AFWA agrees with the Services that this action is consistent with the intent of the Endangered Species Act—that listing decisions be based on the best available science. 

The proposal acknowledges the states’ substantial experience, expertise and information relevant to the conservation of at-risk species. It also directs the Secretary of the Interior to account for the efforts being made by state agencies to protect species when considering listing petitions.

The Association also appreciates the Services’ recognition of the states’ jurisdiction and responsibility for managing and conserving freshwater fish, wildlife and plant species and respect for the states’ special conservation role and responsibilities. Pro-active conservation programs to keep imperiled species off the Endangered Species List are more successful and considerably less costly to American taxpayers than the “emergency room” approach that goes into effect under the ESA. 

AFWA encourages Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and the Services to continue to work closely with their state agency partners in the critical work ahead to conserve the great diversity of our nation’s fish, wildlife and plant species.

To read the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's official announcement, go to

Friday, May 15, 2015

Have you checked out AFWA's 2014 Annual Report yet?

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies released its 2014 Annual Report featuring cover photography by George Andrejko of the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

As AFWA’s 2014-2015 President, Larry Voyles, shares in his welcome letter, “Every hour of every day, the greatest conservation system in the world is hard at work safeguarding North America’s precious fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.”

Throughout the pages in the report, the Association considers the gas, the grease and the heart that drive the intricate machine of fish and wildlife conservation on a continental and hemispheric scale across a tapestry of public and private lands.

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. 

Download and share a PDF version of AFWA's 2014 Annual Report 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

AFWA's Management Assistance Team is Looking for a Professional Development Programs Manager

The Professional Development Programs Manager is a key member of AFWA's Management Assistance Team (MAT) located in Shepherdstown, WV on the campus of the National Conservation Training Center. MAT is the Association’s professional development (PD) unit, which supports state fish and wildlife agency management, leadership and other programmatic needs. 

The Programs Manager is responsible for research, planning, design, development and evaluation of PD programs, as well as the facilitation of those programs, including instruction. 

If you would like to learn more about this career opportunity, go to The application period is open through June 5 or until filled. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2015 “Waters to Watch” Provide Community, Economic Benefit

The National Fish Habitat Partnership ( today unveiled  its list of 10 “Waters to Watch” for 2015—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 conservation actions in progress implemented under the National Fish Habitat Partnership by 19 regional Fish Habitat Partnerships throughout the country.

The conservation actions implemented through these 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.

Throughout the year, these projects will demonstrate how conservation efforts are reversing persistent declines in our nation’s aquatic habitats. Having featured 90 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 country.

“Success in conservation often doesn’t happen overnight,” said Kelly Hepler, Chair of the National Fish Habitat Board. “We are highlighting these projects today with both long and short-term goals in mind. We are working through our regional partnerships in an effort to conserve these great waterways and reverse declines in suitable fish habitat. In our 9th year of this annual campaign, we are beginning to see many of our previous projects named to this list making a real difference. For our 10th Anniversary of the “Waters to Watch” in 2016, we will highlight some of these dynamic past projects that are making a positive impact both regionally and nationally.”

The “Waters to Watch” in 2015 and associated Fish Habitat Partnerships:

1. Alexander Creek Watershed, AK
Mat-Su Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership (
Objective: Project goals are to restore Alexander Creek drainage Chinook salmon numbers in what was previously very productive habitat and a vibrant fishery. Partners are working to do this through large scale invasive pike removal and monitoring, as well as detection, education and eradication of Alaska's first invasive aquatic plant Elodea.
2. Kasilof and Anchor River Watersheds, AK
Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership (
The Kenai Peninsula Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project will help restore physical and biological processes within the Kasilof and Anchor River Watersheds in order to contribute to a healthy, productive and biologically diverse ecosystem for the benefit of injured species and services. The project will eliminate four barriers to aquatic species passage on the Anchor and Kasilof Rivers.

3. Kilchis Estuary, OR
Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership (
Objective: Restore freshwater and tidal connections, provide off-channel rearing habitat for salmonids, and restore historic spruce swamp habitat. The site provides habitat for coho, Chinook and chum salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout as well as a myriad of other wetland species, including colonial nesting waterbirds, migrating waterfowl, juvenile marine fishes and resident mammals.

4. Lake Livingston, TX
Partnership: Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership (
The overall goal of the project is to reestablish Lake Livingston as a destination for anglers and other outdoor recreationists. As such, the project has support from a host of community leaders. A dedicated core group of volunteer leaders are in place to ensure that the project continues to move forward garnering additional local support along the way.

5. Lower Heeia Stream Habitat Improvement Project, Oahu (HI)      
Partnership: Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership (
Objective: This project will restore native vegetation in the tidally influenced portion of Heeia Stream and its adjacent estuary. Project implementation will involve removal of a large stand of invasive riparian trees, followed by soil preparation, erosion control and riparian forest restoration using native plant species.

6. Mill Creek Restoration, WV
Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (
Objective: The WV Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) is mitigating the negative impacts of Super Storms that occurred in 2012 on Mill Creek, WV, one of the state’s four intact brook trout populations, by implementing a strategic Large Woody Material “chop and drop” program within Kumbrabow State Forest, which encompasses approximately 6 stream miles. This project is being completed utilizing the principles of natural stream restoration to place, and in some instances modify and anchor, currently hanging trees in the stream as habitat for fish.

7. Pinole Creek, CA
California Fish Passage Forum (
Objective: The purpose of this project is to restore access to the upper reaches of Pinole Creek for the current population of Central California Coast Steelhead by modifying the existing box culverts where Pinole Creek passes under Interstate Highway 80 (I-80).  Habitat assessments conducted on Pinole Creek in 2009 indicate sufficient habitat to support anadromous steelhead spawning and rearing if passage issues at the I-80 culvert are remedied. This project will improve access to nearly seven miles of documented quality steelhead spawning and rearing habitat on the main stem of Pinole Creek.

8. Shoshone Springs Pupfish Habitat Project, CA
Partnership: Desert Fish Habitat Partnership (
Objective: The project secured the existence of Shoshone pupfish in their native range far into the future, and will educate the public about their importance.  The project quadrupled the habitat area occupied by endemic Shoshone pupfish, benefiting the entire known population in the one spring, springbrook, and spring supported riparian system where they naturally occur. 

9. Sun Creek, OR
Partnership: Western Native Trout Initiative (
 To reestablish redband trout and migratory populations of bull trout to Sun Creek through improved connectivity, habitat quality and stream and riparian function. Due to poor connectivity between Sun Creek and the Wood River, overall habitat degradation, and interactions with non-native salmonids, redband trout were extirpated from Sun Creek and bull trout populations were restricted to a short headwater reach. Similar to other Cascade tributaries in the Upper Klamath Basin, Sun Creek likely supported widespread and abundant populations of both species. Reconnecting Sun Creek to the Wood River will allow redband trout to recolonize Sun Creek and access high quality spawning and rearing habitat. It will also provide a migratory corridor for the isolated bull trout population to expand its range, occupy new habitat within Wood River watershed, and improve overall population resilience. 

10. Ulele Springs on the Hillsborough River, FL
Partnership: Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (
Objective: The restored Ulele Springs is providing native wetland vegetation and provide habitat for fish and mammals. To date, numerous native fish and wildlife has been observed within the basin, which is staring to mimic the anticipated species richness and diversity of a natural spring run entering an estuarine ecotone.

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:

Contact: Ryan Roberts