Monday, April 28, 2008

2009 MSCGP Letter of Intent Deadline Approaching

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies has issued its Request for Proposals for Letters of Intent to address the nine 2009 Multistate Conservation Grant Program (MSCGP) Cycle National Conservation Needs (NCNs). Letters of Intent are due by midnight, EDT Friday, May 2, 2008. NOTE: No federal forms are required for Letters of Intent. Grants are awarded on a calendar-year basis for one, two or three years.

Click here to view Letter of Intent Guidelines, which include the full NCN descriptions, eligibility checklist, the 2009 Cycle timeline, and more.

Federal Fire Suppression Budget Management Bills

Congress is considering bills that would begin to address management of the federal fire supression budget in a way that would not afffect fish and wildlife agencies' discretionary appropriations. With increased fire events occurring that are more catastrophic, agencies are compelled to dedicate existing budgets to fire suppression with the hope that Congress appropriates emergency reimbursement funds. However, fire funds borrowed from budgets for activities such as fish and wildlife management are seldom returned to original levels. In addition, more of the FS budget is being directed at fire supression activities than ever before... 48% of the FY09 budget is proposed. It is apparent that the federal agencies can no longer provide for wildfire suppression costs from within their agency budget allocations. The Association has long encouraged Congress to resolve this and in our FY2009 appropriations recommendations, continue to do so.

The House Natural Resources Committee recently reported its Committee bill HR5541 to the floor, while accepting and incorporating some provisions from HR5648 from Cong Goodlatte, Ranking member of House Agriculture Committee. The Assocition and several fish and wildlife conservation organizations have expressed our support for the remedy reflected by both bills. At this time, it is not clear whether the House Agriculture Committee will hear HR5648 before HR5541 is brought to a floor vote, but; the Natural Resources Committee leadership hopes to have the House consider HR5541 before summer fire season.

For more information, contact

Monday, April 21, 2008

CALIFORNIA: Donald Koch Appointed DFG Director

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the appointment of DonaldKoch as director of the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) on April 16, 2008.

"California's diverse wildlife is among our most treasured natural resources," Governor Schwarzenegger said. "I am confident Donald will continue to protect these cherished resources that make our state so unique."

Before retiring in December 2007, Koch worked for DFG for 30 years. Most recently, he was advisor to the directorate, representing DFG in Klamath River negotiations. Previously, he served the department as Northern California-North Coast regional manager from 1998 to 2007 where he managed law enforcement and fish, wildlife and habitat conservation.

"It is a great honor to serve in this important role in Governor Schwarzenegger's Administration," said Koch. "I look forward to using my background to protect California's vast fish and wildlife population."

Koch, 55, of Redding, earned a Master of Science degree in biological sciences from California State University, Sacramento and a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of California, Davis.