Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fish and Wildlife Conservation National Agenda Sent to President-elect Obama

America’s fish and wildlife belong to all of us as a public trust. For more than a century, state fish and wildlife agencies have upheld the primary responsibility for conserving and preventing the exploitation of natural resources on public and private lands and waters within their borders.

To sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations and provide opportunities for all to connect with nature, state agencies continue to advance what is known as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, a systematic arrangement of policies and laws to restore and safeguard species and habitats through sound science and active management at the local level via state agency programs. Hunting and angling are the cornerstones of the North American Model with sportsmen and women serving as the foremost funders for conservation efforts through their license and equipment purchases.

However, every state agency today is dealing with rising public demands for resources; the impacts of urban sprawl, habitat loss and other emerging issues like climate change; shrinking hunter and angler constituencies and revenue base; and mounting costs. This shifting environment is a threat to the overall management system, fish and wildlife and the people who value nature. Increasingly, conservation success requires more effective cooperation between state agencies and federal natural resource and land management agencies.

With President-elect Obama's administration, come new opportunities to further support the North American Model through new federal conservation policies that are responsive to today’s challenges while bolstering state and federal agency funding to meet those challenges.

Recently, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies sent to President-elect Obama a letter, two-page overview entitled “Furthering Conservation in the Public Trust: A National Fish and Wildlife Agenda” and a collection of policy analysis white papers for his transition staff’s use. In the documents, the Association sets forward conservation priorities to help safeguard our nation's rich fish and wildlife legacy and ensure all have opportunities to enjoy the benefits of our great outdoors.

The documents can be downloaded at www.fishwildlife.org/pdfs/A-National-Fish-and-Wildlife-Agenda_AFWA-2008.pdf.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Lauds President-Elect Obama’s Commitment to Addressing Climate Change

“We are appreciative of President-elect Obama’s commitment to taking firm leadership in addressing climate change and its effects on our nation, our economy and our natural resources,” said Matt Hogan, Executive Director, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), in response to President-elect Obama’s remarks before a Bi-Partisan Governors Climate Summit today in Los Angeles.

Just a few days earlier, in a letter to President-elect Obama transmitting the Association’s transition recommendations, AFWA President, Rex Amack, and Matt Hogan observed, “We also strongly affiliate ourselves with your commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dedicating a portion of revenues accrued from the auction of carbon credits through a cap and trade protocol to remediate the effects of climate change on fish, wildlife and their habitats.”

“We look forward to working with the Obama Administration to forge a strong state-federal relationship to address what will likely be the most pervasive effect on fish and wildlife in recent history,” concluded Hogan.

To view the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies' recommendations to President-elect Barack Obama “Furthering Conservation in the Public Interest: A National Fish and Wildlife Agenda” go to www.fishwildlife.org.

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The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies —the organization that represents North America's fish and wildlife agencies—promotes sound management and conservation, and speaks with a unified voice on important fish and wildlife issues. Found on the web at www.fishwildlife.org.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Save the Date for the 2009 Teaming With Wildlife Fly-in Day

The 2009 Teaming With Wildlife Fly-in Day will take place February 24-25, 2009 in Washington, D.C. This will be the 8th year for the event.

The Fly-in Day is used by states and their Teaming With Wildlife coalitions to advocate for continued funding of the State Wildlife Grants program and dedicated funding to support State Wildlife Action Plan implementation. Changes in the administration, a new Congress and a growing budget deficit will likely make advocacy for wildlife funding more difficult but more important than ever.

Event details and registration information are available at www.teaming.com. Last year, more than 150 individuals from 43 states participated in the Fly-in Day.

If you have questions, contact Mark Humpert, Teaming With Wildlife Director at mhumpert@fishwildlife.org.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

2009 National Fish Habitat Annual Awards Guidelines and Nomination Form

The National Fish Habitat Annual Awards honor exceptional individuals or partner entities who have demonstrated a commitment to fish habitat conservation, science or education. The awards celebrate those who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication, innovation or excellence in aquatic resource conservation. National Fish Habitat Awardees show how individuals can and do make a difference.

The awards are presented annually on the basis of nominations submitted by Fish Habitat Partnerships and the hundreds of organizations that make up the Partners Coalition. From among the nominations submitted by Partnerships and the Coalition, the National Fish Habitat Board selects several of the most meritorious for these nationally recognized awards. Honorable mentions may be made. Deadline to apply is January 16, 2009.

Award Categories
> Exceptional Vision in support of Fish Habitat Conservation
> Extraordinary Action in support of Fish Habitat Conservation
> Scientific Achievement in support of Fish Habitat Conservation
> Outreach and Educational Achievement in support of Fish Habitat Conservation

NFHAP Awards Submission Guidelines

NFHAP Awards Nomination Form

Monday, November 3, 2008

Registration Opens for 2009 Winter Term of MAT Online Leadership Course

Registration is now open for the Winter Term of The Management Assistance Team’s (MAT) online leadership development courses through December 19, 2008. The courses are designed by fish and wildlife agency professionals for fish and wildlife agency professionals using a state-of-the-art, instructor-led approach.

MAT is offering six courses that will begin on January 12, 2009. If you have not taken a MAT online course before, there is a short Student Online Tutorial that will be available on January 5, 2009.

Online courses offered during the 2009 Winter Term:

> Creative and Critical Thinking
> Going from Good to Great
> Secrets of Agency Assessment and Development
> Power
> Visionary Leadership
> The Adaptive Leader

The courses require that participants have reliable Internet access and basic computer skills to visit websites, create MS Word documents and use email. The courses are challenging and require about five (5) hours of work each week and are either four or six-week courses. The cost is $48 plus materials for four-week offerings and $60 plus materials for six-week offerings. Note, the last day to drop a course without being charged is January 16, 2009.

Courses are available to employees of state fish and wildlife agencies or the US Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as other AFWA member organizations, when space is available. Registration is limited to 15 participants per course and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. All participants receive a Course Certificate upon successful completion of the course (a certificate can also be sent for your personnel file on request).

To review course offerings and course descriptions and to register go to www.matteam.org.

The Management Assistance Team is a program of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.