Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gina Main Promoted to Director of Professional Development at the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and Executive Director of the National Conservation Leadership Institute

WASHINGTON, DC - The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) is pleased to announce that Gina Main has been selected as our new Professional Development Director and will serve as the Executive Director of the National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI).

Main’s promotion is a newly re-defined position within the Association to oversee AFWA’s Management Assistance Team (MAT) and direct world-class-quality professional development programs in support of state fish and wildlife agency management, leadership and other programmatic needs. She will also be responsible for providing senior leadership guidance and continuous improvement to the NCLI to prepare the next generations of extraordinary leaders in natural resource conservation.

“I am truly delighted that Gina is moving into this senior leadership position,” said Ron Regan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. “I have complete confidence that Gina will serve the Association, the Management Assistance Team and our state members with great energy and professionalism.”

Main has been with the NCLI and MAT for more than nine years, and has served as NCLI Director of Operations and as a MAT Project Leader for three years. Her dedication to the NCLI has been an integral part of the success of the Institute since its inception.       

“The NCLI Board is excited about our continued professional relationship with Gina in her new position,” said Steve Williams, NCLI Board Chair and President of the Wildlife Management Institute. “I know Gina will bring her program knowledge and people skills to enhance the excellent reputation of the NCLI program as its new Executive Director.”

“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve the Association and the National Conservation Leadership Institute in this new capacity,” said Main. “I believe the work of the Management Assistance Team and the NCLI is playing an instrumental part in developing leadership within our conservation community, and will continue to do so in the future. I look forward to contributing to their continued growth and success.”  

Main holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership from Mountain State University.

> Follow the NCLI on Facebook/TheNCLIpage and on Twitter @_NCLI

> Follow the MAT team on Facebook/TheMATteam and on Twitter @TheMATteam.

 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 collective voice on important fish and wildlife issues. Found on the web at

The Management Assistance Team (MAT) ( is a small, high-performing team within the Association that is charged with developing and delivering professional development training opportunities to AFWA members. MAT products and services concentrate on the agency administration or the “people part” of the conservation equation, specifically in the areas of leadership and organizational development. MAT is responsible for program development and administration of the National Conservation Leadership Institute. 

The National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI) ( is conservation’s premier world-class experience for developing tomorrow’s natural resource management leaders. Internationally acclaimed instructors from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and other renowned leadership experts help deliver the incomparable program during each cohort’s two residencies.

Monday, May 12, 2014

State & Tribal Wildlife Grants Program Receives Boost of Support from 170 Members of Congress

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators Ben Cardin (MD) and Mike Crapo (ID) and Congressmen Don Young (AK), Michael Grimm (NY), Mike Thompson (CA) and Ron Kind (WI) were joined by 163 of their fellow Members of Congress on a “Dear Colleague” sign-on letter to Interior appropriators in support of FY15 funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program. 

In both letters, Members urged their Subcommittees on Interior, Environment and Related agencies to provide the most investment possible for the program, which is the nation’s CORE source of funding for preventing fish and wildlife from becoming endangered.

“Choosing to protect our wildlife and natural resources is good for our environment and our economy. Consistent funding for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program will further protect more than 12,000 at-risk fish and wildlife species while avoiding costly and often controversial interventions that would be needed if we were forced to add more species to the endangered species list,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “The imminent de-listing, due to sufficient recovery, of the once endangered Delmarva Fox Squirrel is a testament to the success of this program.”

“In my home state of Alaska, which I would argue is home to the most pristine wildlife in the country, we understand the critical importance of protecting our wildlife for future generations,” said Congressman Don Young. “I firmly believe the most appropriate and efficient way for populations to flourish and avoid the endangered species list is through a willingness to work together on all levels. The State and Tribal Wildlife Grant program plays a significant role in bringing together states and the federal government to accomplish the important goal of effectively managing our fish and wildlife resources. We know all too well the negative impacts associated with listing any one of our nation’s species, including the detriment to local economies, homeowners, conservationists and sportsmen alike, which is why I proudly support the work of the State and Tribal Wildlife Grant program and continue to ensure funding levels remain intact from proposed cuts in the President’s FY15 budget.”

The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program has successfully prevented new endangered species listings. The program is used to support data collection that is important to ensure endangered species listings are science-based and provides states with resources to put voluntary on-the-ground conservation measures in place. Without sufficient funding for this program, more species will be added to the federal endangered species list requiring expensive interventions and resulting in increased uncertainty for businesses. 

State Wildlife Grants are vital to fish and wildlife agencies in every state, territory and the District of Columbia to support the implementation and revision of State Wildlife Action Plans that were developed to conserve more than 12,000 species known to be at-risk.  The program has the support of the 6,400 organizations that make up the “Teaming With Wildlife” coalition and directly impacts the 90 million individuals who participate in wildlife-related recreation and spend $145 billion on their outdoor pursuits annually.

The number of Members signing on was up for both “Dear Colleague” letters this year.  The U.S. Senate letter included 31 democrats, 8 republicans and 2 independents and the U.S. House of Representatives letter included 112 democrats and 17 republicans. Outreach by state agency staff and Teaming With Wildlife coalition partners to Members was key to the success of the letters. 


Senate Members Who Signed the FY15 Dear Colleague Letter Supporting State & Tribal Wildlife Grants
Barbara Boxer (CA), Chris Murphy (CT), Thomas Carper (DE), Johnny Isakson (GA), 
Mazie Hirono (HI), Brian Schatz (HI), Chuck Grassley (IA), Mike Crapo (ID), 
James Risch (ID), Dick Durbin (IL), Edward Markey (MA), Ben Cardin (MD), 
Angus King (ME), Carl Levin (MI), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Amy Klobuchar (MN), 
John Walsh (MT), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Robert Menendez (NJ), Cory Booker (NJ), 
Martin Heinrich (NM), Charles Schumer (NY), James Inhofe (OK), Bob Casey (PA), 
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Tim Johnson (SD), Tim Kaine (VA), Patrick Leahy (VT), 
Maria Cantwell (WA) and Tammy Baldwin (WI)

House Members Who Signed the FY15 Dear Colleague Letter Supporting State & Tribal Wildlife Grants

Don Young (AK), Paul Grijalva (AZ), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Mike Thompson (CA), 
Lois Capps (CA), Jerry McNerney (CA), Henry Waxman (CA), Barbara Lee (CA), 
Sam Farr (CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), Tony Cardenas (CA), Jared Huffman (CA), 
Raul Ruiz (CA), Jim Costa (CA), Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA), Rosa DeLauro (CT), 
Joe Courtney (CT), Alcee Hastings (FL), Corrine Brown (FL), Frederica Wilson (FL), 
David Scott (GA), Hank Johnson (GA), John Lewis (GA), Colleen Hanabusa (HI), 
Daniel Lipinski (IL), Jan Schakowsky (IL), John Yarmuth (KY), Stephen Lynch (MA), 
John Sarbanes (MD), Dutch Ruppersberger (MD), Elijah Cummings (MD), John Delaney (MD), 
Michael Michaud (ME), John Dingell (MI), Dan Kildee (MI), Gary Peters (MI), 
Collin Peterson (MN), Keith Ellison (MN), Emanuel Cleaver (MO), Mike McIntyre (NC), 
Lee Terry (NE), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Adrian Smith (NE), Carol Shea-Porter (NH), 
Ann Kuster (NH), Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ), Albio Sires (NJ), Chris Smith (NJ), 
Jon Runyan (NJ), Steve Pearce (NM), Gregorio Sablan (NM), Dina Titus (NV),
Jerrold Nadler (NY), Carolyn Maloney (NY), Carolyn McCarthy (NY), Paul Tonko (NY), 
Michael Grimm (NY), Earl Blumenauer (OR), Jim Gerlach (PA), Allyson Schwartz (PA), 
Matt Cartwright (PA), Robert Brady (PA), Jim Langevin (RI), David Cicilline (RI), 
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), Robert C. Scott (VA), Gerald Connolly (VA), Jim McDermott (WA), 
Suzan DelBene (WA), Derek Kilmer (WA), Ron Kind (WI) and Gwen Moore (WI).

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The National Fish Habitat Partnership Unveils its List of 10 “WATERS TO WATCH” in 2014

The National Fish Habitat Partnership ( today released its 10 “Waters to Watch” list for 2014—a collection of rivers, streams, estuaries, lakes and watershed systems that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition. The 10 Waters to Watch represent a detailed snapshot of this year’s locally driven, voluntary habitat conservation efforts in progress implemented under the National Fish Habitat Partnership by 19 regional Fish Habitat Partnerships across the country.

The objective of the 10 Waters to Watch partnership projects is to conserve freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats essential to the many fish and wildlife species that call these areas home. Such projects are the foundation of the National Fish Habitat Partnership. Throughout 2014, through the work of partners, the 10 Waters to Watch projects will demonstrate how conservation efforts are turning around persistent declines in the nation’s aquatic habitats.

“These projects are a model for how fish habitat conservation should be approached,” said Kelly Hepler, Chair of the National Fish Habitat Board. “Often times these projects bring partners together that otherwise may not work together. These efforts are all about working across boundaries and jurisdictions with a wide array of partners involved, working for the greater good of habitat conservation.”
The 2014 “Waters to Watch” list and associated Fish Habitat Partnerships:
1) Bear Creek, Colorado: Western Native Trout Initiative
2) Boardman River, Michigan
: Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership
3) Eel River Delta, California
: California Fish Passage Forum

4) Lake Bloomington, Illinois
: Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership 

5) Milltown Island Estuary, Washington
: Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership 

6) Montana Creek, Alaska
: Mat-Su Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership
7) Muddy River, Nevada
: Desert Fish Habitat Partnership 

8) Nash Stream, New Hampshire
: Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture

9) Tolomato River, Florida
: Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership/Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership

10) Twelvemile Creek Watershed, Alaska
: Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership

Since 2007, approximately 80 “Waters to Watch” partnership projects have proved that on-the-ground conservation activities and science-based strategies can make a difference in improving fish habitat. 

For more information on project maps and descriptions of the 10 Waters to Watch list for 2014, visit: Log on to to use the National Fish Habitat Partnership’s interactive habitat data mapper.

About the National Fish Habitat Partnership:
Since 2006, the National Fish Habitat Partnership has been a partner in 417 projects in 46 states benefiting fish habitat. The National Fish Habitat Partnership works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, tribal, and private funding resources to achieve the greatest impact on fish populations through priority conservation projects. The national partnership implements the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and supports 19 regional grassroots partner organizations.