Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Association Bestows Annual Awards for Exemplary Leadership in Conservation

WASHINGTON — The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies honored 10 individuals and two entities for their outstanding and longstanding commitment to conservation stewardship at the Association’s Annual Awards Ceremony held on September 10, 2008 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

2008 Annual Awards Recipients:

Seth Gordon Award:
John Cooper

The Seth Gordon Award is the Association’s highest honor and is conferred on individuals who have worked steadfastly and effectively for the best use of North American Natural Resources in the public trust and for their contributions to the programs of the Association. This award was established in honor of Seth Gordon who had one of the longest, continuous careers in fish and wildlife conservation in honor of his 50 years of service to the Association representing state agencies and as a member of Association staff.

John Cooper’s incredibly diverse wildlife career has spanned nearly 40 years encompassing law enforcement as an agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, tournament fishing, outreach through popular outdoor magazines and state conservation and environmental policy as his state’s member of the Governor’s Cabinet. He is also a Vietnam veteran.

Cooper chaired the Association’s Law Enforcement and Executive Committees and served as the 2005-2006 President. In addition to all of these duties, he has been actively engaged in various North American Conservation Initiatives and has been chair or co-chair of the Adaptive Harvest Management Group working on improving science-based waterfowl harvest regulations; the North American Wetlands Council; the Governing Board of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan; and chair of the Law Enforcement and Habitat Committee of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Although now retired, Cooper continues to be an active force promoting conservation efforts.

“Few people in the professional wildlife conservation community have brought as many attributes and contributed as much to the cause of conservation,” said Wayne MacCallum, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Director and Chair of the Association’s Awards Committee.

Cooper’s vision, leadership, personal and professional integrity, passion, persistence good humor, and willingness to tackle rather than side step challenges stands as a model for public agency conservation administrators of the 21st century.

Ernest Thompson Seton Award:
Group: Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee
Individual: Dr. Christopher Servheen, Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Ernest Thompson Seton Award was established to bring public attention to the need for and benefits of scientific wildlife management and to recognize the agency has taken a strong position in support of the integrity of its professional program and its individual team leader. Wildlife illustrator, author and co-founder of the Boy Scouts of America, Seton was considered one of America’s most influential conservationists, dedicating his life to educating people about nature and instilling a deeper understanding of the natural world.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) is a consortium of the public resource agencies composed of representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Geological Survey, the state wildlife agencies of Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

It was formed in 1983 to help drive the effort to recover and restore grizzly bear populations in the lower 48 states through interagency coordination of policy, planning management and research. Over the past 26 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator, Dr. Chris Servheen, has worked tirelessly to achieve grizzly bear conservation in the U.S. and Canada.

“Dr. Servheen has played a central role in overseeing and coordinating the cooperative conservation effort that brought grizzly bears from nearly disappearing to the point that they no longer need the protection of the Endangered Species Act in the greater Yellowstone area,” said MacCallum. “This collaborative agency effort to increase our grizzly bear population represents one of North America’s most compelling restoration successes since inception of the Endangered Species Act.”

Mark J. Reeff Memorial Award:
Stephanie M. Carman, Aquatic Species Recovery Coordinator, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

The Mark J. Reeff Memorial Award recognizes young professionals under the age of 35, who have distinguished themselves by outstanding commitment to wildlife management, willingly accepted more difficult challenges and inspired others to do the same. Reeff served as the Association’s Resource Director before his passing in 1997 at the age of 41.

Five years ago, when recent college graduate, Stephanie Carman, was hired by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish in the newly established position of Aquatic Species Recovery Coordinator, she was faced with navigating two very controversial issues – water and protected species. Her primary responsibilities were to engage a broad range of interests to draft recovery plans for species listed as ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered’ by the state; obtain State Game Commission approval of each plan; and then, with various agency and private partners, implement conservation measures identified in the plans.

Through dogged determination, ingenuity, intellect and perseverance, she developed the process and content model for the plan development and was deeply involved in the development of the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy for New Mexico and the catalyst for reactivation of the White Sands Conservation Team resulting in resumption of monitoring of this species whose entire range lies within the boundaries of the military reservation."

As the Department's first Aquatic Species Recovery Coordinator, Ms. Carman showed determination and ingenuity, forging strong professional relationships while becoming versed in often complicated state, federal and tribal laws and regulations," Department Director, Bruce Thompson said. "Her first recovery plan became a template for others to come, and in fewer than five years she gained widespread respect among diverse interest groups and agencies."

National Private Lands Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Award:
Longino Ranch, Florida

The National Private Lands Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Award honors an individual- or family-run farm, ranch or forest operation that has incorporated proactive conservation and environmental protection measures in the management of their land.

The Longino Ranch in Sarasota County, Florida encompasses approximately 8,000 acres with a cow/calf herd of 1,700 head. The Longino family has an impressive record of accomplishment in operating its ranch in an environmentally sound manner. Since the 1970s, the ranch has participated in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) deer management program with use of antlerless deer tags and acquisition of biological data of all harvested deer. It continuously has been enrolled in the state’s Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Landowner Assistance grant programs since the 1990s and has included nearly 2,700 acres in a rotational roller chopping and winter/summer-prescribed burning program that is producing measurable and significant results in perpetuating the native rangeland community.

In 2002, the family created a wetland conservation bank on the ranch, which is cited by various Florida agencies as a model for successful wetland restoration. This year, more than 1,100 acres of the ranch was approved as a gopher tortoise recipient site and a conservation easement assures that the habitat will remain protected and ranch timber harvest and other practices will be done in manner that maintains and improves the habitat for the species. The family happily provides educational tours to schools, government officials and various civic groups.

“The Longino family has led the way for more than 50 years in balancing the needs of the land with the needs of a business,” said Tim Breult, the FWC’s director of the Division of Habitat and Species Conservation. “They have been active partners in finding ways to effectively farm the land while protecting it for future generations.”

Conservation Law Enforcement Award:
Jeff Finn, Conservation Officer, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Law Enforcement Division

The Conservation Law Enforcement Award recognizes outstanding achievements in fish and wildlife resource enforcement by an individual, a unit, bureau of a division or a combination, to enhance the professionalism and significant advancement of conservation law enforcement efforts.

Conservation Officer, Jeff Finn, is a 24-year veteran and the Kentucky 2008 Officer of the Year for his outstanding work in law enforcement especially in the conviction of poachers and for public relations in addressing civic groups, schools and sportsmen’s clubs.

In 2000, Officer Finn established an Internet Crimes Unit and works closely with online providers and other federal and state fish and wildlife agencies in the U.S. and Canada to collect information and prosecute individuals engaged in illegal trade of wildlife. He also provides Internet investigation instruction to the Southeastern Association of Wildlife Investigators Academy and was one of the founding members of the Kentucky Conservation Officers Association, serving as Treasurer and on its Executive Committee.

According to his award nominators, “Jeff Finn epitomizes the commitment, dedication and professionalism that is necessary to be an effective ‘Game Warden.’ While maintaining the traditional values of being a warden, Officer Finn readily embraces change and seeks way to improve the ability of our officers to more effectively and efficiently carry out their mission. He has a progressive attitude and a willingness to move beyond his comfort zone for the benefit of this department and its officers.”

Special Recognition Awards:
Each year, the Association recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves with an outstanding commitment to the work of the Association.

H. Dale Hall
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Dale Hall is a professional’s professional, starting as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wetlands biologist in the Lower Mississippi Valley and spanning more than 30 years. Since his appointment as USFWS Director in 2005, he has continued to emphasize the benefits of collaboration among the Service, states, tribes, landowners and other conservation partners in confronting this century’s conservation issues including the emerging challenges posed by climate change, water management and generations of children who are becoming disconnected from nature.

George Vandel
Assistant Director, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks Division of Wildlife
George Vandel has been an unwavering advocate for the conservation of waterfowl and other migratory birds. A member of the Association’s Waterfowl Working Group and Migratory Bird Conservation Committee, he is actively involved in the implementation of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and has been a charter member and Chair of the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture Management Board and Chair of the Central Flyway. Vandel also has been a strong voice on behalf of landscape-scale habitat management working to encourage state and federal programs designed to engage broad partnerships that include private land owners in migratory bird conservation.

Dave Nomsen
Vice President of Government Affairs, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
Dave Nomsen was a key voice for the fish and wildlife conservation community in the recent reauthorization of the Farm Bill, providing crucial guidance during the two plus years of policy development leading up to and concluding in the Farm Bill in his role with the American Wildlife Conservation Partners and as co-chair of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Agriculture and Wildlife Working Group. Nomsen is also a member of the North American Wetlands Council, appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, responsible for making recommendations about the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) to the Congressional Migratory Bird Commission, and has been a strong advocate for Congressional funding support for NAWCA .

Lawrence M. Riley
Coordinator of the Wildlife Management Division, Arizona Game and Fish Department
Vice-chair of the Association’s Invasive Species Committee, Larry Riley has demonstrated a high level of expertise on all manner of invasive species issues over the years, which requires the application of significant scientific, professional expertise and people skills. During the past year, Riley testified twice at Congressional hearings, drafting and presenting the Association’s positions and perspectives on non-native invasive and injurious species and threat to native fish, wildlife and their habitats. Both times, he handled the issue on short notice, which necessitated working outside of his normal work day and juggling his many agency obligations.

Angela Nelson
Executive Assistant, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
For many years, Angela Nelson has put in a tremendous effort on the Association’s behalf, and has made great contributions to its success. She knows how the organization works better than anyone, and keeps things moving ahead effectively and efficiently. Skill, dedication and a customer-focused attitude are the hallmarks of her career combined with her ever-ready smile and warmth to all who visit the office, call or attend meetings.

Fallen Heroes
Michelle Lawless
Investigator, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission

This is the first year for the Association to pay special tribute to those wildlife professionals, Fallen Heroes, who have lost their lives while carrying out their duties to enforce conservation laws and regulations and manage fish and wildlife resources in the past year. The names of the Fallen Heroes will be inscribed on a plaque and permanently displayed in the Association’s Washington, DC office.

2008: Michelle Lawless, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Investigator, who was killed in an ATV accident on patrol for poachers on October 27, 2007.

The nominating period for the 2009 Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Annual Awards will open in spring 2009. The next Annual Meeting will be held September 13-18, 2009 in Austin, Texas.

Photos of the Awards recipients
Previous Awards recipients

Monday, September 29, 2008

Registration Open for 2009 North American Conservation Education Conference

2009 North American Conservation Education Conference:
Taking Conservation Education to the Next Level

January 26-29, 2009
C. A. Vines 4-H Center, Little Rock, Arkansas

In 2004, conservation education professionals from across the nation met in Shepherdstown, WV for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Summit on Conservation Education. More than 35 state fish and wildlife agencies along with several federal agencies and non-governmental organizations participated in this historic event, which initiated the North American Conservation Education Strategy.

The 2009 North American Conservation Education Conference is the long-awaited sequel. This conference will enable conservation educators to discover the pieces of the strategy that are now in place and how the strategy can empower participants to become more proficient in their various areas of conservation education. Participants also will become more aware of national trends and latest quality conservation education materials.

The conference location near Little Rock will provide the backdrop for professional development and collaboration through a mixture of seminars, keynote speakers and work sessions. This conference will provide the opportunity to help determine the future direction of the North American CE Strategy.

The event will kick-off with dinner and an evening program on Monday, January 26. Tuesday through Wednesday will feature a mixture of sessions and discussion topped off by a Southern BBQ hosted by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The conference will conclude at noon Thursday.

Conference registration is $295 for double occupancy and $325 for single occupancy, which covers all meals and lodging. In addition, Arkansas Game and Fish will shuttle attendees to and from the airport. Click here to download a Registration Form.

The Association is providing funding for travel scholarships through support of the North American Conservation Education Strategy. In order to encourage participation from all 50 state fish and wildlife agencies, the Association will reimburse one representative per state agency up to $500 for airline travel or mileage using the federal government rate. Click to download a scholarship form.

The conference committee is finalizing the agenda, which will be complete shortly.

For more information, contact any of the 2009 Conservation Education Planning Committee:

Kevin Frailey, Conference Chair, Michigan DNR, fraileyk@michigan.gov

Lucy Moreland, Registrar and host agency, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission,

Kurt Cunningham, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, kcunningham@mt.gov

Jennifer Dennison, Ohio DNR, jen.dennison@dnr.state.oh.gov

Warren Gartner, Indiana, DNR, wgartner@dnr.in.gov

Gregg Losinski, Idaho Fish and Game, glosinski@idfg.idaho.gov
For the most up-to-date information, visit the 2009 North American Conservation Education Conference website.

Turning the Tide on Recreational Fishing on Federal Lands

On September 26, President George W. Bush signed an amendment to the 1995 Executive Order on recreational fishing to ensure that federal agencies maintain responsible recreational fishing on federal lands and waters, including marine protected areas.

"Our nation's sportsmen and women are among our foremost conservationists. I was pleased to amend Executive Order 12962 to recognize the value of recreational fishing as a sustainable activity in federal waters," said President Bush.

Over the past two years, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the Center for Coastal Conservation and its members, the Coastal Conservation Association, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Shimano American Corporation united efforts to secure the recreational fishing and boating access amendment.

“We applaud the President for taking this unprecedented step which recognizes that anglers and boaters play a significant and critical role in this country’s successful conservation model which is the envy of the world,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “As a recreational angler and boater himself, the President clearly understands that sportsmen and women are conservationists first and foremost and that recreational fishing is an essential component of the nation’s heritage.”

"This is a major victory for sportsmen and we commend the President," said Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF). "CSF has been particularly concerned about the spawn of no fishing provisions in marine protected areas that lock recreational anglers out of prime fishing areas."

"We appreciate the leadership President Bush has shown by his recognition of recreational fishing as an environmentally sustainable activity on federal waters, including marine protected areas. This is a progressive declaration which will benefit millions of anglers today and in the future," stated Phil Morlock, director of environmental affairs for Shimano American Corporation.

“The President’s action established a legacy for recreational fishing by securing access to fishing and boating, the lifeblood of the American model of fisheries management and conservation,” said ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson. “Every time American anglers buy fishing licenses or sportfishing equipment, an investment is made in fishing’s future. This highly successful user-pay system for fishery management depends on access to the resource.”

Source: American Sportfishing Association, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation

Friday, September 26, 2008

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Celebrates Annual National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 27

37th annual celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day recognizes conservation success funded by hunters and anglers
WASHINGTON – State fish and wildlife agencies nationwide will host National Hunting and Fishing Day events on Saturday, Sept. 27 to connect the public with nature and raise awareness of the American system of sportsmen-funded conservation.

Within the U.S., state fish and wildlife management is funded primarily through the purchase of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and through federal excise taxes collected from the sale of hunting, target shooting, and fishing equipment and motor boat fuels. Today, nearly all state agencies receive the bulk of their total operating and program budgets from these sources to manage healthy fish and wildlife resources. Without a dedicated funding source and few other funding options for fish and wildlife agencies, hunters, boaters, anglers and trappers continue to be the primary support for state-by-state conservation efforts.

Through the American System of Conservation Funding through license revenue and excise taxes, more than $1.7 billion dollars is entrusted to state agencies annually for fisheries and wildlife restoration and management; hunter, angler and boater access; as well as for hunter and boater safety education.

“America’s fish and wildlife belong to all of us as a public trust, and we rely on state agencies to ensure healthy populations and provide opportunities for people to connect with nature,” said Matt Hogan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “However, every state fish and wildlife agency today is facing constant and increasing resource demands; the impact of urbanization, habitat loss, and other emerging issues; shrinking hunter and angler constituencies, and revenue base; and rising costs. This challenging environment is a threat to the system, fish and wildlife species and the people who value them.”

Wildlife-based activities, such as hunting, fishing, viewing and photography provide people with millions of days of outdoor recreation each year and generate billions of dollars for the economy. According a 2006 National Survey of Hunting Fish and Wildlife-Related Recreation, more than 87 million Americans spent more than $120 billion dollars in 2006 on wildlife-related activities. These activities support close to 3 million jobs in the U.S.

“On National Hunting and Fishing Day, I encourage everyone who appreciates the outdoors to participate in a state-sponsored event and recognize the significant contributions hunters and anglers have made to support the overall conservation of our nation’s fish and wildlife resources,” said Hogan.

National Hunting and Fishing Day, formalized by Congress in 1971, was created to commemorate conservation successes funded by hunters and anglers, which benefits all who enjoy wildlife and wild places. The annual celebration, led by Wonders of Wildlife, the nation’s only hunting- and fishing-focused museum, promotes and builds public support for outdoor lifestyles. National Hunting and Fishing Day is observed on the fourth Saturday of every September.

For more information about National Hunting and Fishing Day or to find a list of state-sponsored events, visit www.nhfday.org.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Landmark Fish Habitat Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

Yesterday, Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Christopher Bond (R-MO), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), and George Voinovich (R-OH) introduced the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act of 2008, a comprehensive strategy to allocate conservation dollars for effective restoration of our national waterways.

“The National Fish Habitat Conservation Act, which I introduced along with Senators Bond, Clinton, and Voinovich, will revolutionize how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approaches fish habitat conservation. With 40 percent of our fish populations in decline and half of our waters impaired, the current fragmented approach to fish habitat protection and preservation has clearly not worked." said Lieberman. "This bill encourages collaborative regional conservation efforts that bring together federal government agencies, state and local governments, conservation groups, fishing industry groups, and businesses. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to enact this critical legislation to help restore fishstocks across the country.”

The legislation was spearheaded by numerous leading environmental organizations including the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, the American Sportfishing Association, The Nature Conservancy, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and Trout Unlimited, all of which share a common interest in the success of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan.

Currently, our nation’s efforts to address threats to fish species are fragmented, and not comprehensive enough to reverse this downward trend. Earlier this month, the American Fisheries Society's Endangered Species Committee (ESC), a U.S. Geological Survey-led team of scientists, conducted a detailed evaluation of the health of our nation’s freshwater fishes. In examining the status of continental freshwater and diadromous (migrating between rivers and oceans) fish, the ESC determined that nearly 40 percent of fish species in North American streams, rivers and lakes are now imperiled. This dramatic increase in the number of imperiled fish since the last report 20 years ago calls for the urgent action provided in the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act of 2008.

Under this legislation, federal and state governments, the recreational and commercial fishing industries, the conservation community, and businesses will work together to collectively to conserve and protect aquatic habitats using science-based conservation approaches. The National Fish Habitat Conservation Act directs critical new resources toward the nation’s fish and aquatic communities through partnerships that foster fish habitat conservation and improve the quality of life for the American people. This legislation leverages federal, state, and private funds to build regional partnerships aimed at addressing the nation’s biggest fisheries problems.

To date, the National Fish Habitat Action Plan’s progress has included:
• Establishment of six fish habitat partnerships including:o Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnershipo Eastern Brook Trout Joint Ventureo Western Native Trout Initiativeo Midwest Driftless Area Restoration Effort o Matanuska-Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnershipo Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership
• Allocated approximately $11 Million towards:o On the ground restoration projects through fish habitat partnershipso A National Fish Habitat Assessment – due in 2010
This legislation is expected to improve not only important fish habitat, but also the overall health of vital waterways throughout the United States.

“I would first like to express my sincere gratitude to the sponsors of the bill and their commitment to improving the quality of life in this country,” said Kelly Hepler, of the Alaska Fish and Game Department and Chairman of the National Fish Habitat Board. “The waterways in our country are the true lifeblood of our nation and the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act will not only provide additional fishing opportunities and public access to these waterways but will also improve the health of the water and therefore the health of our families.”

“This is a landmark bill that, if passed, would show our country is moving in the right direction to protect freshwater and aquatic ecosystems,” said Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “With recent studies showing that fish species are in serious decline, we are in dire need of implementing a nationwide, comprehensive program to protect fish habitat. We need to act swiftly on this important legislation.”

“The National Fish Habitat Conservation Act will provide new money for fish habitat conservation in this country,” said American Sportfishing Association Vice President, Gordon Robertson. “It represents a ground-up approach to fishery conservation and is complimentary to the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund Act. By improving the nation’s fishery resources, the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act will also provide more recreational fishing opportunities for America’s 40 million anglers.”

The National Fish Habitat Action Plan board and staff appreciate the leadership and commitment of Senators Lieberman, Bond, Clinton and Voinovich along with their many colleagues who we hope will support this unprecedented legislation.

For more information, visit www.fishhabitat.org.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Registration Open: 2008 Colorado River Basin Science and Resource Management Symposium

2008 Colorado River Basin Science and Resource Management Symposium
Coming Together: Coordination of Science and Restoration Activities for the Colorado River Ecosystem

November 18-20, 2008
Doubletree Resort Hotel
5401 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ

The 2008 Colorado River Basin Science and Resource Management Symposium will focus to a large extent on the management and protection of desert fishes. The symposium will promote the exchange of information on research and management activities related to the restoration of the Colorado River and its major tributaries from the headwaters to the U.S.-Mexico border. This basinwide symposium will provide scientists, stakeholders, land and resource managers, and decision makers the opportunity to learn about these various programs and exchange ideas and data enhancing the effectiveness of these programs.This 2-1/2 day symposium will feature plenary sessions as well as concurrent technical sessions, vendors, and poster sessions.

Plenary and Technical Session Topics Include:
Status and trends of aquatic resources, including native and nonnative fishes
Climate change and long-term drought: how will it affect restoration efforts?
Adaptive management and collaborative management decision making
Instream flow management and protection (including dam operations and reservoirs)
Nonnative fish management and restoration
Integrating recreational fisheries with native fish conservation
Monitoring program design and effectiveness
Native fish propagation, stocking genetic management
Sediment conservation and management
Societal values and Native American perspectives
Riparian habitat monitoring and restoration

A limited number of rooms are available at the special rate of $102, plus tax, per night if you book your hotel reservation before September 30. Reserve a room by calling 480-947-5400 (Be sure to mention the symposium or Water Education Foundation) or visiting http://doubletree.hilton.com/en/dt/groups/personalized/PHXSJDT-WEF-20081114/index.jhtml

Abstract Deadline September 22: For information on abstract format, including a sample, visit http://www.watereducation.org/doc.asp?id=1072 orcontact Ted Melis, 928-556-7282 or tmelis@usgs.gov

Symposium and Registration Information: For additional information or to register, please visit http://www.watereducation.org/doc.asp?id=1072

Conference cosponsors: U.S. Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center; Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program; Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program; Bureau of Reclamation; National Park Service; Colorado River Fish and Wildlife Council; Water Education Foundation; and San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation

Thursday, September 4, 2008

House to Vote on No Child Left Inside Act

Please ask your representative to support environmental education. The House of Representatives will vote on the No Child Left Inside Act of 2008 next week – either Tuesday, September 9 or Wednesday, September 10.

You can email your representative via www.NCLICoalition.org by clicking on “Contact Your Congressperson” and filling out the short form. If you want to place a phone call to your representative’s office, click here for their phone number.

The No Child Left Inside Coalition is growing every day and now has 700 member organizations, including the Association of Fish and Wildlfie Agencies, representing more than 40 million people who understand the value of environmental education.

For more information about the NCLI Act and the Coalition, visit www.NLCLICoalition.org.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

RBFF to Release Preliminary Results from State Direct Mail Marketing Program at Association's Annual Meeting

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced it will share preliminary results from the organization's State Direct Mail Marketing Program at the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting being held Sept. 7-11, 2008 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

"Since we introduced the Direct Mail Marketing Program last year at the Association, we wanted to reveal the initial program results here this year," said RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson. "We are pleased with the overall response rate and licenses sold so far. And as the program expands to new state partners, we will continue to increase funds for critical management and conservation efforts."

On Tues., Sept. 9 at an RBFF-hosted breakfast, Peterson and RBFF State Initiatives Director Stephanie Hussey will reveal the direct mail response rates from at least four participating states and update state agencies on the national lapsed angler recruitment and retention program. They will also discuss plans to sign on new state partners in the upcoming year.

Launched in March 2008 with 30 state fish and wildlife agencies, RBFF's Direct Mail Marketing Program aims to recruit and retain lapsed anglers and generate awareness of the connection between fishing license sales and conservation efforts. The Direct Mail Marketing Kit includes direct mail templates, instructions to implement a direct mail campaign and marketing assistance from RBFF. All results from the State Direct Mail Marketing Program will be shared in future RBFF communications. If you'd like to set up a one-on-one meeting or interview at the Annual Meeting, email Stephanie Hussey or call her at (703) 778-5152.

About RBFF: RBFF is a nonprofit organization established in 1998 to increase participation in recreational angling and boating. RBFF helps people discover, share and protect the legacy of boating and fishing through national outreach programs including the Take Me Fishing™ campaign and Anglers' Legacy™.