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.

Objectives

  • 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.

Date
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

Length
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.

Location
Online

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
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

Availability
Course offered annually.

Contact for Registration Questions
Jill Del Vecchio at (304) 876-7424 or
jill_delvecchio@fws.gov

Contact for Content Questions
Ashley Fortune at (304) 876-7438 or
ashley_fortune@fws.gov

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

Speakers
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.

Speaker: 
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
Agencies.

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)

Presenter:
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:
https://cc.callinfo.com/r/1c4cwvkexcjji&eom

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)

PRESENTER
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