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.



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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