Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Webinar: Quantifying the Economic Contributions of Fish & Wildlife Habitat Management

Presented by the U.S. Forest Service and the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

Abstract: The presentation will illustrate currently existing opportunities for the economic valuation of wildlife and fish management. This will include a description of how agencies and partners are well-positioned to apply concepts from economists to inform natural resource management decision-making, enhance reporting, and gauge whether agencies are meeting changing public demands. We will touch on the many challenges state and federal agencies face in trying to articulate social values, despite overwhelming public support for parks, forests, monuments and wildlife areas and a substantial amount of relevant economic research. We will share some tangible U.S. Forest Service products as models for the conservation community, and will have time to discuss how agencies and partners can collaborate to bring about a comprehensive economic narrative.

Jonas Epstein
Economic Research Fellow
U.S. Forest Service
National Forest System
Washington, DC

Monday, November 6, 2017
1 pm EST/12pm Central/11am Mountain/10am Pacific

To join the webinar:
Step 1: For the Audio: Dial-in: 800.768.2983, access code: 8383462
Step 2: For the Slide Presentation: Web login: https://cc.callinfo.com/r/1db9ke77n0be6&eom

Monday, October 2, 2017

Climate Academy 2018

Training Announcement: Climate Academy ALC3193
Natural resource and conversation professionals are tasked with understanding climate change impacts and using this knowledge in making decisions. This 8 week online course is designed to cover the fundamentals of climate science, provide an overview of tools and resources for climate adaptation, and increase climate literacy and communication skills. The course is designed to encourage networking among conservation professionals engaged in the management of fish, wildlife, habitat and cultural resources and provides participants an opportunity to interact with experts as they address case studies across multiple habitat types.

Beginning in January 2018, a webinar session with leading experts in these topics, will be held every week for 8 weeks, for a total of 8 sessions. There is a break the week of February 5th. Pre-webinar assignments, class resources and discussion forums will be accessed through Moodle, a distance learning platform (no special software required). Course participants will then develop a final product addressing climate change in their management of natural resources.


  • At the conclusion of this course, participants should be able to:
  • Explain the scientific basis of climate change.
  • Understand biological impacts of climate change.
  • Understand the role of vulnerability assessments and select decision support tools.
  • Identify principles and tools of adaptation planning and examples of adaptation action.
  • Effectively communicate climate change impacts to co-workers, stakeholders and management.
  • Demonstrate how climate change integrates into their work.

Webinars: Jan 10th 2018 - March 7th 2018
Break: week of February 5th
Wednesdays 1:30 -3:00 PM Eastern
Final project: due no later than March 23, 2018

An estimated 3hrs/week will be spent towards participation in in lectures, discussions, and to complete reading assignments. Additional time for the final project will vary.


Who Should Attend
Natural resource and conservation professionals. Course is suitable for individuals or group participation.

College Credit
One semester hour is available on request.
CEUs are available through TWS.

Tuition is $200.00
There is no tuition for FWS or NPS.

To Register
Register online at: http://training.fws.gov
NOTE: Please disregard the number of available seats. You will be notified via email concerning your enrollment status.
Registration closes October 27, 2017

Course offered annually.

Contact for Registration Questions
Jill Del Vecchio at (304) 876-7424 or

Contact for Content Questions
Ashley Fortune at (304) 876-7438 or

Friday, August 25, 2017

Webinar: Dispersal Hazards of Pseudogymnoascus destructans by Bats and Human Activity at Hibernacula in Summer

A Webinar Presentation with:

Anne Ballmann, DVM, PhD
Wildlife Disease Specialist, USGS-National Wildlife Health Center

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017, 2:30 PM Eastern Time

To Participate in the Webinar:
Step 1: Dial-In for the Audio: 1-800-768-2983; Use Access Code: 8383462
Step 2: Web Login for the Video: https://cc.callinfo.com/r/1o8mcagbdhff0&eom

Abstract: Bats occupying hibernacula during summer are exposed to Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), the causative agent of white-nose syndrome (WNS), and may contribute to its dispersal. Furthermore, equipment and clothing exposed to cave environments are a potential source for human-assisted spread of Pd. To explore dispersal hazards for Pd during the nonhibernal season, we tested samples that were collected from bats, the environment, and equipment at hibernacula in the eastern US between 18 July–22 August 2012. Study sites included six hibernacula known to harbor bats with Pd with varying winter-count impacts from WNS and two hibernacula (control sites) without prior history of WNS. Nucleic acid from Pd was detected from wing-skin swabs or guano from 40 of 617 bats (7% prevalence), including males and females of five species at five sites where WNS had previously been confirmed as well as from one control site. Analysis of guano collected during summer demonstrated a higher apparent prevalence of Pd among bats (17%, 37/223) than did analysis of wing-skin swabs (1%, 4/617). Viable Pd cultured from wing skin (2%, 1/56) and low recapture rates at all sites suggested bats harboring Pd during summer could contribute to pathogen dispersal. Additionally, Pd DNA was detected on clothing and trapping equipment used inside and near hibernacula, and Pd was detected in sediment more readily than in swabs of hibernaculum walls. Statistically significant differences in environmental abundance of Pd were not detected among sites, but prevalence of Pd differed between sites and among bat species. Overall, bats using hibernacula in summer can harbor Pd on their skin and in their guano, and demonstration of Pd on clothing, traps, and other equipment used at hibernacula during summertime within the WNS-affected region indicates risk for pathogen dispersal during the nonhibernal season.

Forthcoming paper in Journal of Wildlife Disease: http://www.jwildlifedis.org/doi/pdf/10.7589/2016-09-206?code=wdas-site

Webinar: Effects of Climate Change on Inland Fish and Fisheries: Global, North American, and Management Perspectives

Hosted by AFWA’s Climate Change Committee and Fisheries and Water Resources Policy Committee

Join us for a webinar featuring research from the USGS’s National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. The presentation will cover documented and projected effects of climate change on inland fishes and proposed opportunities for adaptation. The speakers will draw from two important publications including “Global synthesis of the documented and projected effects of climate change on inland fishes” and “Climate change effects on North American inland fish populations and assemblages”.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
1:00-2:00pm EST

Abigail J. Lynch, USGS, National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center
Bonnie J. E. Myers, USGS, National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center

How to Join
Click here to join the meeting: https://cc.callinfo.com/r/1rj4v71g7w74m&eom
Dial-In Number: 800.768.2983, enter Access Code: 8383462
Contact Davia Palmeri (dpalmeri@fishwildlife.org or 202-838-3464) with questions.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Webinar: Overview of the Animal Welfare Act and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs)

Abstract: The USDA Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is the federal law initially written to pertain to animals used in biomedical research but which has been amended in recent years to include animals in wildlife research. Institutions involved in wildlife research have established Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) to ensure compliance with the AWA. The US Forest Service is amongst several federal and state wildlife agencies that have established IACUCs and have realized the benefit for their research scientists. This webinar will review the requirements of the AWA and its regulations, help to understand key terminology and where to find informational resources, explain the role and responsibilities of the IACUC, and discuss perspectives on determining when/if IACUC oversight is needed in wildlife research and other wildlife activities to ensure ethical use of wildlife resources and to promote distribution of scientific knowledge.

Dr. Patrice Klein
Attending Veterinarian, USFS IACUC; and National Program Lead, Fish & Wildlife Health, U.S. Forest Service Research & Development- Washington Office

Date: Tuesday, August 29,
Time: 2 PM Eastern 1 PM Central 12 PM Mountain 11 AM Pacific

To join the webinar:
Step 1: For the audio,
Dial: 800.768.2983,
Access code: 8383462
Step 2: Web Log-in: https://cc.callinfo.com/r/18dryus51iu0d&eom

Contacts: Monica Tomosy (mstomosy@fs.fed.us)
and Nicole Zimmerman (nzimmerman@fs.fed.us)

Webinar presented by the U.S. Forest Service and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Webinar: What Natural Resource Managers should know about Genetic Technology Terminology & Techniques to Understand the Consideration of Value verses Risk

Webinar presented by the U.S. Forest Service and the Association of Fish & Wildlife

Abstract: New gene editing techniques have arisen recently (e.g. CRISPR/CAS9), with many possible applications in fish and wildlife management and conservation. These new approaches have shown considerable potential in areas such as invasive species control, wildlife disease management, and imperiled species recovery. However, there are also significant challenges for state and federal agencies in determining how, when and whether to apply these new technologies. To help prepare you for any discussions, we provide you here with an explanation of terms, techniques in use, and what some scientists and managers are asking. Examples will be given based on ongoing work with the fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which causes White-nose Syndrome (WNS) in bats.

Dr. Daniel Lindner
Research Plant Pathologist
U.S. Forest Service
Research & Development
Northern Research Station

When: Thursday, July 27, 2 p.m. Eastern/1 Central/ 12 p.m. Mountain/11 a.m. Pacific

To join the webinar:
Step 1: For audio, dial: 800.768.2983, access code: 8383462
Step 2: Web Login: https://cc.callinfo.com/r/1wifnrle7whdo&eom

Contacts: Monica Tomosy (mstomosy@fs.fed.us) and Nicole Zimmerman (nzimmerman@fs.fed.us)

Download the flyer here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Wind & Wildlife Workshop

Week of October 9, 2017
National Wind Technology Center
Broomfield, Colorado

This is a classroom and field based workshop held at NREL’s National Wind Technology Center1 in Broomfield, CO2, where attendees will learn about current techniques for studying the impacts of wind turbines on bats, grassland birds, and raptors. Expert instructors will lead discussions topics including:

  • Pre-construction surveys
  • Post-construction fatality monitoring
  • Fatality estimators
  • Thermal and near-infrared videography
  • Impact reduction strategies and mitigation options

Attendees will gain hands-on experience using these techniques and field equipment at actual wind turbines. In addition, attendees will get practical experience using the latest software to estimate bird and bat fatalities. The workshop agenda, registration, and hotel information will be distributed by mid-July. For immediate notification once this information is available, email Rebecca Patterson (rpatterson@batcon.org) to be added to the Wind and Wildlife Workshop email list.

Registration is open to anyone who is interested. 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 Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has set aside funds to provide for registration, airfare, hotel and per diem for state fish and wildlife biologists. If you are interested in attending and need funding for travel, please contact Davia Palmeri (dpalmeri@fishwildlife.org; 202-838-3464).

Click here to download the flyer.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Webinar: Ranchers and Beavers- Social Aspects of Beaver-related Watershed Restoration in Western Rangelands

Webinar presented by the U.S. Forest Service and the
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies:

Abstract: This research focuses on the Great Basin and investigates how to create a socially enabling
environment for using beaver-related restoration approaches to restore incised stream channels, improve in-stream habitat for fish, enhance riparian habitat for wildlife, and promote climate change adaptation on western rangelands. These approaches include installing artificial structures that mimic the effects of beaver dams in streams and encourage beavers to take over, and undertaking habitat
restoration that causes beavers to naturally colonize an area. The research considers factors
such as the perspectives of ranchers who own private lands or graze on public lands where the restoration activities are to occur; the costs and benefits of beavers and beaver dams to ranchers; how to mitigate potential costs to them; regulatory and policy restrictions that make restoration challenging; and incentives to promote conservation and restoration activities. It is one example of the kind of research we could do to address the question of how to create a more socially-enabling environment for habitat restoration and conservation projects more broadly.

Contacts: Monica Tomosy (mstomosy@fs.fed.us) and Nicole Zimmerman (nzimmerman@fs.fed.us)

Dr. Susan Charnley
Author of Stitching the West Back Together: Conservation of Working Landscapes
Research Social Scientist, U.S. Forest Service Research & Development
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2017,
Time: 2 p.m. Eastern/1 Central/ 12 p.m. Mountain/11 a.m. Pacific

To join the webinar:
Step 1: For audio, dial:
800.768.2983, access code: 8383462

Step 2: Web Login:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Partners with the BAND Foundation

Washington D.C. (May 4, 2017) - The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies is pleased to announce a partnership focused on fish and wildlife health, in collaboration with Bat Conservation International, the Amphibian Survival Alliance, the Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy, the Center for Invasive Species Prevention, and five universities in the United States.

Disease is rapidly emerging as a major threat to wildlife globally. While wildlife diseases are not new, human actions are dramatically increasing their spread and impact. The partnership between the BAND Foundation and the Association will lead to more effective responses to emerging wildlife diseases.  Three specific emerging pathogens that affect bats (White-nose syndrome (WNS)), salamanders (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal)) and sea stars (Sea Star Wasting Disease (SSWD)) are of immediate concern in the United States. These families of animals play vital roles as ecosystem engineers across a range of habitats from agricultural landscapes to forests to intertidal zones. This project provides funding for critical research and monitoring to better understand the diseases that threaten them, aims to catalyze a public policy framework for tackling wildlife disease more broadly and strategically, and seeks to leverage additional dollars to address this critical issue.

“State fish & wildlife agencies are on the front lines of wildlife disease prevention. This much needed funding will go a long way to prevent and prepare for disease outbreaks through the United States,” said Nick Wiley, President of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.

A conference to bring together experts in science and management of various wildlife diseases will be convened in 2018, to help further identify needs and improve communication and responses.

Funding for this collaborative effort was provided by the BAND Foundation, a charitable foundation whose mission includes conservation of wildlife and plant species and combatting wildlife diseases.

For more information about this new partnership, please contact Priya Nanjappa (202.838.3463/pnanjappa@fishwildlife.org) or Jonathan Mawdsley (202.838.3462/jmawdsley@fishwildlife.org).

Monday, April 24, 2017

Trapping Matters Workshop

Workshop held at the Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Annual Conference

The Association will be hosting a “Trapping Matters Workshop” during the WAFWA Annual Conference in Vail, Colorado on Saturday, July 8, 2017.  “Trapping Matters” is a professional development workshop that qualifies participants for 7 hours of credit with The Wildlife Society. Participants will be instructed in how to use proven key messages for effective communication about trapping with the media and public.  Participants are also given hands-on instruction in the use of commonly used trapping devices and provided with sound scientific information about trapping and furbearer management.  For registration or questions contact: Bryant White at bwhite@fishwildlife.org

Citizen science team monitors a deadly fungus threatening amphibian communities in northern California

Webinar presented by the U.S. Forest Service and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies:

Abstract: Citizen science projects increasingly are making important contributions to conservation science. Most citizen science projects solicit opportunistic reports of observations from the general public. However, the need for targeted and standardized citizen science sampling schemes has been recognized. In this webinar, we will share a case study in which the USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station partnered with an invested volunteer group to conduct citizen science to answer a specific conservation question. We discuss why and how the partnership between research scientists, state agencies, and citizens was successful at creating important research and educational products, while also maintaining participant motivation through education, enjoyment, and societal contribution. We partnered with the McKinleyville, California “EcoClub” to assess the distribution and prevalence of the
deadly amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, or “chytrid fungus”, among amphibians of public lands in Humboldt County, California. EcoClub youth and supervising family members comprised a multigenerational (4 to 74 years old) and multiethnic (39% Latino, Native American, or African-American heritage) citizen science program that reflected the local community structure. The team’s objectives were to use citizen science to understand the status and distribution of the fungus within local amphibian communities and to evaluate whether citizen science with children could be an effective strategy for conducting viable research on a significant wildlife disease problem such as chytridiomycosis. From May 2013 to April 2015, the EcoClub conducted 29 sampling trips and collected skin swabs from 230 amphibians of eight of species. The team’s results were recently published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases and demonstrated that children are effective samplers and that an energized team of citizens can make a difference for conservation science.

Contacts: Monica Tomosy (mstomosy@fs.fed.us) and Nicole Zimmerman (nzimmerman@fs.fed.us)

Dr. Karen Pope
Research Wildlife Biologist
U.S. Forest Service Research & Development
Pacific Southwest Research Station

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 2 p.m. Eastern/1 Central/ 12 p.m. Mountain/11 a.m. Pacific

To join the webinar:

Step 1: For audio, dial: 800.768.2983, access code: 8383462

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Webinar - Solar with Monarch Habitat: a Win-Win in the Land of Milkweed and Honey

Thursday April 6, 2017  
Webinar: 2:00-3:00 Eastern (1-2 PM Central)

Solar with Monarch Habitat: a Win-Win in the Land of Milkweed and Honey with Eric Udelhofen (OneEnergy Renewables) and Rob Davis (Fresh Energy). Register here!

This webinar will discuss the science and safety of photovoltaic solar and the growing trend of planting pollinator habitat under and around ground-mounted solar panels. In 2016 alone, nearly 2,500 acres of solar sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin were seeded with millions of native flowers and grasses including black-eyed susans, side-oats grama, purple prairie clover, butterfly milkweed, and calico aster.

Eric Udelhofen, development director from OneEnergy Renewables, will discuss site selection for large-scale solar arrays, including existing land use, utility interconnection, topography and other environmental factors. He will give an overview of what the development process looks like, discuss construction and provide insight into what an installation actually looks like.

Rob Davis, of 501(c)3 nonprofit Fresh Energy, will discuss its work in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Bee Lab, Monarch Joint Venture, the Gund Institue for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont, and others to establish standards as to what constitutes “pollinator friendly solar.” Rob will delve into the history of how pollinator-friendly solar was imported from the UK, where it is a common practice. Rob will outline how Fresh Energy and Audubon Minnesota built a bipartisan coalition of support for a statewide standard for vegetation on solar sites, including support from prominent agricultural legislative leaders and advocacy organizations.

Rob and Eric will both discuss the public and environmental benefits provided by pollinator-friendly solar sites as well as standard practices of pollinator meadow management on solar sites, and will describe some of the benefits to solar project owners over the long-term, including reduced maintenance expenses, improved stormwater infiltration, and greater community acceptance.

Register here!

Webinar: Long-term Research to Document Effects of Elk, Nutrition, and Predation on Mule Deer Populations

Webinar presented by the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Abstract: Mule deer recruitment and populations in much of the western United States have declined over the past 2-3 decades or longer. We initiated long-term research at the USDA Forest Service Starkey Experimental Forest and Range (Starkey), northeast Oregon, to understand causes for decline and gain knowledge for reversing trends. Our research is based on a planned experimental reduction of the elk population at Starkey to determine the effects of competition with elk on mule deer and the potential interactive effects of predation. Objectives are to determine body condition scores of adult female mule deer, monitor pregnancy and twinning rates, and estimate survival of juvenile and adult female mule deer in the presence of a relatively high population density of elk and in response to predation by 4 carnivores. After the elk population within Starkey is reduced by 50-75%, we will measure the same mule deer parameters. We will develop maps of nutritional resources available to mule deer to determine if they are using the landscape in an optimal manner or are restricted from high quality resources through competition with elk. We are estimating carnivore densities and diets within and adjacent to Starkey to identify the effect of carnivores on mule deer populations. Results will address major knowledge gaps for management of mule deer in forested systems of the Interior West where elk co-occur at moderate to high densities, and where multiple species of carnivores prey on both ungulate species.

Mike Wisdom
Research Wildlife Biologist
U.S. Forest Service
Research & Development
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Darren Clark
Project Lead
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Mary Rowland
Research Wildlife Biologist
U.S. Forest Service
Research & Development
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Additional Collaborators: Oregon State University, University of Nevada-Reno, and University of Idaho

Monday, April 3, 2017
2 p.m. Eastern/1 Central/ 12 p.m. Mountain/11 a.m. Pacific
To join the webinar:
Step 1: Dial-In: 800.768.2983, access code: 8383462

 Contacts: Monica Tomosy (mstomosy@fs.fed.us) and Nicole Zimmerman (nzimmerman@fs.fed.us)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Statement from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Regarding U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director’s Order 219

Washington D.C. (January 20, 2017)- The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies expresses utter dismay with the release of Director’s Order 219, Use of Non-Toxic Ammo and Fishing Tackle, by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) on January 19, 2017. Association President Nick Wiley states that "this action flies squarely in the face of a long and constructive tradition of states working in partnership with the Service to effectively manage fish and wildlife resources.” He adds, "the Association views this Order as a breach of trust and deeply disappointing given that it was a complete surprise and there was no current dialogue or input from state fish and wildlife agencies prior to issuance. It does a disservice to hunters and anglers, the firearms and angling industries, and the many professionals on staff with the USFWS who desire a trusting and transparent relationship with their state partners." This is unacceptable federal overreach into the states’ authority to regulate the methods of take for sport fish as well as complete disregard for the states’ concurrent jurisdiction with the Service for the management of migratory birds. Further, the economic impacts of this action, which likely will be felt most by rural Americans, is likely to be hundreds of millions of dollars." The Association looks forward to working with a new Administration in the redress of this poorly timed and executed decision.


The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

National Conservation Leadership Institute Fellowship Applications

The National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI) will begin accepting nominations for its Twelfth Cohort on February 1st, 2017 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, 2017. Please visit www.conservationleadership.org for further information on the nomination process, or contact Amanda Myers at 304.876.7797.

Staff Contact: Amanda Myers; amandam@matteam.org

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Webinar: Integrating Climate Change into State Wildlife Action Plans

When: Wednesday 7 December 2016, 01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
Time Zone: (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Integrating Climate Change into State Wildlife Action Plans
Speakers: Sally Ann Sims, Karen Terwilliger, and Amanda Shearin

For more information and to register, go to:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to this webinar for all participants. Captioning is provided. Please direct all requests for accommodation needs to John Ossanna,  304-876-7476, john_ossanna@fws.gov , TTY 800-877-8339 at least three business days in advance of the event.

If you have any questions regarding the Safeguarding webinar series, please contact: John Ossanna,  john_ossanna@fws.gov or Tara Edwards, tara_edwards@fws.gov

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Webinar: Assessing surveying methodologies to address information gaps for forest carnivores in the Pacific States

Webinar presented by the U.S. Forest Service and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Title: Assessing surveying methodologies to address information gaps for forest carnivores in the Pacific States

When: Monday, November 14, 2016
Time: 1 p.m. Eastern/ 12 p.m. Central/ 11 a.m. Mountain/ 10 a.m. Pacific

To join the webinar:
Step 1: Dial-In: 800.768.2983, access code: 8383462

Abstract: In partnership with government agencies and industrial land owners, we surveyed a vast landscape in Oregon and Washington in under two years, targeting coastal Pacific marten (Martes caurina humboldtensis) and fisher (Pekania pennanti) - both petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Obtaining reliable estimates of distribution, population size, and habitat use of rare, wide-ranging mammals is often the first step in species conservation. A wide range of protocols have been applied in the western United States for carnivores, however, most are targeted at a single species, potentially failing to detect multiple species of interest. Recent research suggests a single method, such as just using remote camera surveys, may fail to detect a species when it is in fact present. In actively managed landscapes, reliable data on rare species is often an urgent conservation challenge because land managers may have obligations to conserve rare species for ethical, ecological, or legal reasons. We used remote cameras and scent detection dog teams to assess distribution and identify potential populations, and we combined remote cameras, live-trapping, GPS telemetry, and spatial mark-resight models to rapidly assess density and land use of one isolated population of each species. Preliminary results suggest that survey methodology can affect detections, and thus apparent results. Our data combined with recent literature suggest careful consideration is needed for carnivore monitoring using non-invasive survey methods.
In addition to fisher and marten, we detected 26 other species, and have evidence to suggest some carnivores were more likely to be detected at non-baited trail cameras. Although both species were not federally listed, extant populations may experience threats such as habitat fragmentation and loss, disease, road mortalities, and poisoning, and are also subject to legal harvest in the case of the marten. These wide ranging carnivores would benefit from a strategic multi-agency strategy focused on applied research, management, and restoration across land ownerships. The combination of results from these projects taking place through 2018 are expected to assist partners with best practices to: (1) conduct efficient survey techniques for wide-ranging elusive species, and (2) understand the scope to which these data could inform management actions.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Webinar: Converting Your Guides to Digital Formats: Stretching Your Dollars and Your Reach

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ 

Wildlife Viewing and Nature Tourism Working Group- 2016 Fall Webinar Series

Converting Your Guides to Digital Formats: Stretching Your Dollars and Your Reach

Dec. 13, 2016  * Noon – 1:00 pm EDT
Converting wildlife viewing guides into digital formats such as eBooks (Kindle) and iBooks (Apple) is worth the time and money, and will help you reach a more digitally-oriented audience of all ages. Using a consultant will help make the process easier and will quickly pay for itself. The third of Florida’s four Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail guides became available as an eBook for Kindle (and the free Kindle app for smart phones) earlier this year, and sales have already outstripped requests for printed guides. Whitney Gray, Andy Wraithmell and Ann Marie Tavares will talk about the process, costs, design considerations and potential rewards for going digital.

Whitney Gray, Coordinator, Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail
Whitney Gray is the coordinator for the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, a program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Whitney has a bachelor’s degree in zoology, and a master’s degree in environmental engineering sciences with an emphasis on systems ecology, both from the University of Florida. She is a fifth-generation native Floridian who was introduced to wildlife viewing as a child and has worked in Florida’s saltmarshes, wetlands, and now in the hills and rivers of north Florida. As coordinator of the GFBWT, Whitney oversees the physical and informational infrastructure of the Trail and works to promote it as a tool for conservation and economic development.

Andy Wraithmell, Information Specialist III
Andy is the information specialist for the wildlife viewing section of the FWC. He has a bachelor’s degree in social science from Florida State University. Andy is originally from Liverpool, England and moved to Tallahassee in 2004. He spends most of his free time exploring the wild lands of the Florida Panhandle with his family and dog. In his role as information specialist, Andy manages the social media pages for the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, coordinates the Wings Over Florida bird and butterfly programs, and coordinates events and festivals.

Ann Marie Tavares, Art Director
Ann Marie is the art director for the FWC. A 20-year, award-winning veteran in the field of graphic design and bio-illustration, she has certification in commercial art and illustration. Ann Marie currently divides her time between working with the FWC and as an equine specialist for an equine clinical psychologist. She is currently working on a master’s in clinical mental health counseling and hopes to engage clients in experiential therapy with an outdoor conservation focus. A native Floridian, she enjoys spending time viewing wildlife, fun with family and friends, playing guitar, working with her horse…and FSU FOOTBALL!

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

Download the flyer here.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Webinar: Integrating Climate Change into State Wildlife Action Plans

Register today for our next webinar!

Topic: Integrating Climate Change into State Wildlife Action Plans

When: Wednesday 9 November 2016, 01:00 PM - 02:30 PM

Time Zone: (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Integrating Climate Change into State Wildlife Action Plans

Speakers: Chris Burkett, Amy Staffen, Ryan O'Connor, & Shari Koslowsky

For more information and to register, go to:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to this webinar for all participants. Captioning is provided. Please direct all requests for accommodation needs to John Ossanna, 304-876-7476, john_ossanna@fws.gov , TTY 800-877-8339 at least three business days in advance of the event.

If you have any questions regarding the Safeguarding webinar series, please contact: John Ossanna, john_ossanna@fws.gov or Tara Edwards, tara_edwards@fws.gov

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Webinar: Integrating Climate Change into State Wildlife Action Plans: An Update

Topic: Integrating climate change into state wildlife action plans: an update

When: Wednesday 5 October 2016, 01:00 PM - 02:30 PM, Eastern Time 

Climate change has emerged as a significant threat to fish and wildlife across the United States. As such, over the past few years, state fish and wildlife agencies have been actively working to integrate climate change into their revised State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAP). This webinar will highlight general ways in which states have addressed climate change in their respective plans, as indicated through a recent survey conducted by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA). The program will also highlight the approach applied by Tennessee, which engaged state fish and wildlife experts and both governmental and NGO partners to assess the vulnerability of species and habitats in the state and identify potential management options. The webinar will allow for opportunities for participants to share their own experiences with addressing climate change in relevant fish and wildlife management and identify next steps to ensure that the creative and innovative ideas developed by states will be implemented.

For more information and to register, go to:
Space is limited!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Webinar: Texas Nature Trackers Program

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’Wildlife Viewing and Nature Tourism Working Group2016 Webinar Series

Texas Nature Trackers Program

October 11, 2016 
Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

Description: The Texas Nature Trackers Program is using iNaturalist to engage the naturalist community and to help document the persistence of species on the landscape in Texas. In less than four years we have compiled over 85,000 observations of plants and animals. Our top data priority is to detect populations of Target Species to support research and conservation efforts by the Wildlife Diversity Program at Texas Parks and Wildlife. Our outreach efforts are intended to enrich the experience of naturalists in three ways; achievement, knowledge, and impact. At its heart, iNaturalist is a community-driven platform where the interactions between observers help sustain the engagement of observers. Each observation requires validation from the community to become “research grade.” This validation provides positive and educational feedback on species identification for the observer. Texas Nature Trackers also promotes challenges, such as the Herps of Texas Big Year, or the Spring Turtle Challenge. We hope to improve the structure of these challenges to promote a greater conservation awareness, and to focus the attention of the community on data gaps and research priorities. We believe that a well-designed engagement strategy will simultaneously increase the value of the data and enrich the experience of the observer.

Presenter: Cullen Hanks, Texas Nature Tracker Biologist in the Wildlife Diversity Program at Texas Parks and Wildlife.

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

Video: Oversight Hearing on the Status of the Federal Government's Management of Wolves

House Committee on Natural Resources
Streamed live on Sep 21, 2016

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations 
Oversight Hearing on the Status of the Federal Government's Management of Wolves

Click here to view!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Nick Wiley Elected 2016-2017 President of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

Washington D.C. (9/15/2016) - The membership of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies today elected Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as its new president during AFWA's 106th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In accepting AFWA's presidency, Wiley reflected on the critical importance of the two recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources including the Recovering America's Wildlife Act and strengthening the relevancy of fish and wildlife agencies. These efforts represent the biggest conservation initiative of our respective careers.

“I am deeply honored to serve our colleagues and partners in this role as AFWA President at a time when we need strong collaboration and partnerships more than ever,” said Nick Wiley, Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and 2016-2017 AFWA President.  “While we are fortunate to have abundant populations of fish and wildlife for anglers, hunters and wildlife watchers to enjoy, we are facing a crisis with many species that are becoming imperiled on our watch. While we are all working as hard as we can to help these species, our basic model for conservation funding at the state level is not sufficient to turn this troubling tide. AFWA is well positioned to help support a new awakening to the great value and relevancy of fish and wildlife conservation, and I pledge a full measure of energy and enthusiasm to this worthy cause.”

Wiley urged his colleagues to actively tell the great story of how conservation is successfully delivered by dedicated fish and wildlife resource professionals across North America. He also praised the coordinating action and capability of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and the regional fish and wildlife agencies' associations; recognized professionals across the country for their tireless dedication to conservation; and he held a moment of silence for those fallen heroes who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2016.

Wiley will serve as AFWA President through September 2017.

"Nick Wiley is a true leader and a conservation visionary who will leave a lasting imprint on our organization," said Dave Chanda, Director of New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and the 2015-2016 President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. "He understands the vital role played by state and provincial wildlife managers in the conservation of North American species and habitats, and we are confident President Wiley will excel at representing both fish and wildlife conservation professionals and the North American species we hold in trust."

Nick is a Certified Wildlife Biologist employed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) as  Executive Director. He has over 30 years of professional experience in fish and wildlife conservation, mostly in Florida, and has served as a field biologist and in a leadership capacity in various FWC programs including alligator management, small-game management, conservation lands management, and agency policy and administration. Nick has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Georgia Southern University and a Master of Science Degree in Wildlife Science from Auburn University. He is a Fellow of the National Conservation Leadership Institute and a professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club.  

AFWA Honors its 2016 Annual Awards Recipients

Washington D.C. (September 14, 2016)- The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) recognized four individuals, three state agencies and one private landowner for their dedication to advancing fish and wildlife conservation at the Association’s Annual Awards Ceremony held on September 13, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Dan Forster
 received the AFWA’s top honor, the Seth Gordon Award for lifetime achievement in conserving North America’s natural resources in the public trust and contributing to the programs of the Association.

Dan’s name is iconic with the Association due to his number of leadership roles, his level of impact, and help in uniting 50 states. As President of the Association (2013-2014), Chair and Vice President of the Association’s Executive Committee (2012-2013), and President of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA, 2008-2009), Dan was repeatedly entrusted to represent the collective voice of his fellow Directors of state fish and wildlife agencies and help guide the Association to affect positive change for the states and their natural resources.

While Dan is a leader in conservation efforts across the continent, back in his home state of Georgia, where he graduated from the University of Georgia with a Master’s in Wildlife Biology, Dan started his career with the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) on the Georgia coast in 1990. He has now served our state for three decades. More than one of those decades was spent serving as Director of WRD. WRD is responsible for fishing opportunities for more than 1 million anglers, hunting opportunities for more than 600,000 hunters on more than 1 million acres of public land, and management of 111 Wildlife Management Areas, 10 Public Fishing Areas, 10 fish hatcheries, 148 boat ramps, 17 shooting ranges, 16 archery ranges, and 7 Regional Education Centers.

“This is the greatest professional honor that I could ever receive, and I am truly humble,” stated Dan Forster.

The Missouri Stream Team Program received AFWA’s Ernest Thompson Seton Award for leadership in promoting scientific wildlife management and is a great example of how Missourians value conservation of fish, forests, and wildlife, and how the Conservation Department, DNR, and Conservation Federation of Missouri work with citizens to conserve our natural resources.

The Missouri Stream Team Program is a citizen-led effort to conserve Missouri streams. Sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM), the Stream Team Program focuses on education, stewardship, and advocacy for Missouri stream resources.  The Program provides supplies and technical assistance to meet the needs of Stream Teams and their diverse individual goals, and also recognizes Team accomplishments through social media, newsletters, certificates, and awards.  Missouri Stream Team is a national leader in volunteer stream stewardship efforts thanks to the creativity and determination of its members and strong agency support.

In the last 25 years, the Missouri Stream Team Program has grown to over 5,000 active Stream Teams consisting of an estimated 90,000 volunteers working to conserve Missouri’s rivers and streams.  Since 1989, Stream Teams have been an impassioned voice for the protection of streams that Missourians rely on for clean drinking water, quality fishing, and first-class recreational opportunities. The Program merits recognition for its achievement in engaging citizens to act on behalf of Missouri streams. 

“I believe the success of the Program is due to the passion and dedication of Missouri citizens combined with providing them the resources to get involved at the level they desire,” said Sherry Fischer,  Stream Services Program Supervisor with the Missouri Department of Conservation.  “We provide guidance but allow them to develop their ‘Team’ into what they envision. The collaborative nature of this partnership creates a supportive family atmosphere which facilitates and grows volunteer involvement over time.”


Davia Palmeri, the Climate Change Coordinator with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, received the Mark Reeff Memorial Award for outstanding young wildlife management professional under 35. AFWA recognized Palmeri for her persistent, professional, and produces results for a challenging portfolio.

“I am overwhelmed,” stated Davia Palmeri.  I am honored to work with people in the state agencies and get to do this work on a national scale at such a young age.”


This year’s recipient of AFWA’s Private Lands Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Award—Paul Tudor Jones, owner of the Blue Valley Ranch— a conservation ranch that runs cattle and bison and prioritizes wildlife.

The vision of Blue Valley Ranch is to cultivate a natural landscape of healthy, resilient ecosystems that support a diversity of wildlife.  The ranch is a model of resource integration for conservation, land stewardship, agricultural production and guest services.

Mr. Jones and the staff of Blue Valley Ranch have been tremendous partners for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).  Together, Blue Valley and CPW have introduced several wildlife species on the ranch, all with great success.  Both entities were also key players in initiating and helping to secure funding for the CO State Hwy 9 Safety Project, which began construction last year.  The project features 7 wildlife crossings, including 2 overpasses, and was the direct result of a grassroots-level effort to build a private-public partnership to fund and design the project.

Sher Steuben, the ranch’s general manager, commented on receiving the award that “Blue Valley Ranch is honored to have been selected for this recognition, and our thanks go to the AFWA.  Our accomplishments come from a visionary landowner, a dedicated staff, and establishing trusting relationships with local agencies.  We plan to continue this tradition of cooperation and excellence in conservation for many years to come.”

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources- Law Enforcement Public Relations 
was selected as the 2016 Conservation Law Enforcement Award recipient for providing outreach efforts that serve to educate the public about the job that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division performs as well as improve overall public relations.

The SC Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division has worked very hard in recent years to improve public relations.  In today’s landscape that has become somewhat detached from the outdoors, it is more important than ever to educate the public about the importance of wildlife conservation as well as cultivate support for outdoor activities that include hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting.  Words like recruitment, retention, and reactivation have become the cornerstone of agency efforts to remain relevant in today’s society.  Because of this, the SCDNR Law Enforcement Division has developed groundbreaking outreach programs to reach the people of South Carolina.

“Our public relations team serves to education the public about the job that the Law Enforcement Division performs as well as improve overall public relations,” said Colonel Chisolm Frampton, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division.  “Their ability to think outside the box with innovative ideas like our 100 Deadliest Days of Summer PSA, minority outreach programs, interactive video simulation trailers and community fishing rodeos have proven to be very successful in today’s difficult landscape.”.

Finally, the Association presented two special recognition awards for outstanding commitment to the work of AFWA to Roy Grimes and the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance.

Over the last fifteen years, Mr. Roy Grimes has led the efforts of the National Archery in the Schools Program, or NASP®. Roy, who had served Fish & Wildlife Agencies in Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and finally Kentucky was asked by KY Commissioner Tom Bennett to develop what would later be called “NASP®.”  NASP®, an international-style target archery program, was designed to achieve specific and targeted educational and conservation related goals.

“Having spent 30 years as a state wildlife agency biologist, I consider members of AFWA, my peers,” said Roy Grimes, President of NASP.  “It is a terrific honor to have the National Archery in the Schools Program® recognized by AFWA professionals for its efforts to establish millions of student archers every year.”

The Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance is a network of 40 state and federal agencies, public botanical gardens, universities, utility companies and conservation organizations committed to preserving the state’s rare flora. Members helped develop and revise the Georgia State Wildlife Action Plan – the guiding strategy for alliance recovery projects targeting 100 imperiled plant species – and the network has become a model for others, noted state Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams.

“GPCA has proven incredibly effective in focusing and increasing efforts to conserve Georgia’s rare plant species and their habitats,” Williams said. “Not only is this work benefiting our state, other states are considering setting up alliances, meaning plant conservation in those states will reap from what the GPCA has sown in Georgia.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Statement from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies on the USFWS Final Rule for Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Non-subsistence Take of Wildlife and Closure Regulations

The state fish and wildlife agencies have a long history of working in close partnership with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to deliver on-the-ground fish and wildlife conservation for our citizens under the auspices of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Strong cooperative working relationships between state fish and wildlife agencies and the USFWS are essential for maintaining successful conservation and management efforts across the nation. This cooperative approach to conservation and management, when given full opportunity to work, has historically lead to effective and durable decisions regarding fish and wildlife in a manner that is respectful of state and federal authorities.

Given this valued cooperative relationship between state fish and wildlife agencies and the USFWS, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (Association) is disappointed in the final ruling for Alaska’s national wildlife refuges (NWRs) for non-subsistence take on wildlife and closure regulations recently issued by USFWS. We respectfully conveyed our concerns throughout the rule development process and continue to view this rule as flawed relative to the legal framework for wildlife management authority on NWRs in Alaska. We find that implementation of this rule will have significant implications for wildlife management, native Alaskan cultural values, non-subsistence use, and subsistence use for rural Alaskans. The Association’s most serious concern with the rule is that it compromises state authority to manage fish and wildlife on Alaska NWRs.

The Association is particularly disappointed that the USFWS issued a Final Rule when it and other conservation organizations, including the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council (a Federal Advisory Committee) as well as the State of Alaska, recommended continuing dialogue between the Alaska Game and Fish Department and the USFWS, to achieve a mutually satisfactory resolution of the authorities issue. Instead, we are left with heightened state-federal tension in managing Alaska’s fish and wildlife resources both for her citizens and the citizens of the United States. We believe the recommendation for further dialogue to negotiate agreement between the State of Alaska and USFWS is reasonable and prudent and better assures consistency with applicable federal and state laws.

Moreover, the Association is troubled by the insensitive way this final rule was rolled out both to the State of Alaska and to the many conservation organizations who supported Alaska’s position. We are hopeful that we in the conservation community, including the USFWS, can find ways to move forward that will foster stronger cooperation and mutual respect and support. At times, maintaining strong cooperative relationships requires time and effort to negotiate through disagreements to find workable compromise, and we believe this important issue in Alaska was certainly worthy of more time and effort.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Public Attitudes on Trapping Survey


The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) has partnered with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to conduct a multi-state study about residents’ opinions on wildlife and wildlife-related activities, including trapping. Responsive Management has been contracted to conduct a survey of residents in each of the three states: Connecticut, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Beginning in August, residents of each state may receive a phone call from Responsive Management asking them to participate in a brief telephone survey about wildlife; selection of residents for participation is random to maintain a scientifically valid study. If you receive a call at home or on your cell phone, please consider participating in the study to assist the Department and AFWA in better understanding public awareness of, opinions on, and attitudes toward trapping. This study is also a follow-up to a study previously conducted by the partners in 2001. The current study will examine some trends to examine changes in awareness and opinions.

If you have any questions about the study, please contact Byant White: BWhite@fishwildlife.org  573-815-7901.

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.

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


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: