Thursday, August 21, 2014

Statement from the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Supporting the USFWS’ Wolverine Decision

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies supports the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to officially withdraw its 2013 recommendations to list the wolverine as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The Association believes that the Service did responsibly consider the “best available science” concerning wolverine management, which could not reasonably predict the impact climate change would have on wolverine populations using today’s climate models.  

State fish and wildlife agencies recognize that a changing climate is one of the many stressors currently impacting populations of fish and wildlife and the habitats upon which they depend. However, future ESA listings must meet the statutory definitions of either a “threatened species” or an “endangered species” to receive protection under the ESA. Any premature listings—whether based on uncertain results from climate change modeling or other circumstances—sets a bad precedent for conservation.

Association President Dan Forster thanks the USFWS for working with the states that developed the Wolverine Conservation Plan to ensure the specie’s long-term viability. Pro-active conservation programs to keep species off the list are more successful and considerably less costly to American taxpayers than the “emergency room” approach that goes into effect under the ESA.

AFWA encourages the Service to continue to work closely with its state agency partners in the work ahead to conserve the great diversity of our nation’s fish and wildlife species, including the wolverine.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"Water to Watch" Project in Sonoma County, CA Highlighted in National Fish Habitat Partnership Video Series

The National Fish Habitat Partnership released a second video today in a series highlighting the work of its 19 Partnerships across the country. This spotlights restoration efforts on Grape Creek, a tributary of the Russian River in Sonoma County, CA through the California Fish Passage Forum. Grape Creek was named a National Fish Habitat Partnership “Water to Watch” in 2013 because of the importance of its natural habitat and fish species, which include steelhead trout and coho salmon.

The partners working to improve Grape Creek habitat hail from diverse backgrounds -- vineyards, landowners, water agencies, conservation groups and even school groups, along with federal and state agencies active in conserving the watershed.  The focus of the project is to increase dry season stream flow by either reducing or shifting the demand for water resources from May through October.

This video highlights challenges in managing the dry season, when water needs are highest for residential, industrial and agricultural uses. The low stream flow makes it impossible for north coast salmon to make their runs, an issue highlighted in the national media in 2014. The National Fish Habitat Partnership assisted partners in learning about existing water need and demand, stream flow, the relationship between flow and salmon habitat, as well as the variety of resources available to them.

The Grape Creek project is an important part of the broader conservation work happening in the Russian River Watershed.  Approximately 98% of the land in Sonoma County is privately owned and this project is establishing a precedent of using unique landowner partnerships, gained through door-to-door relationship building and partnering.

With just a $100,000 contribution from the California Fish Passage Forum and $50,000 from other partners, the Upper Grape Creek Project is having a major impact on sustaining both water resources and precious salmon populations.  The project is also providing economic value through added jobs and increases in sales and income at a level of more than double the investment.

The first National Fish Habitat Partnership video featured the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture project Aaron Run in Western Maryland, which was released in November 2013.  The National Fish Habitat Partnership is planning to continue this video series in 2014 and beyond.

To watch the video go to or access it directly at

The Grape Creek project video is also available on the Partnership's You Tube channel at

About the National Fish Habitat Partnership:
The National Fish Habitat Partnership works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, and private funding sources 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.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Registration is open for MAT's Fall Online Courses and Webinars

Fall registration is now OPEN and AFWA's Management Assistance Team (MAT) is excited about how the term is shaping up. We're pleased to welcome Dr. Hugh O'Doherty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government to our national faculty, as he facilitates one of our newest and most highly anticipated online courses, Conflict.  

Also debuting this term, Eyewitness to Leadership: Examining  Adaptive Leadership Though Turning Points in History, will take students on a journey in search of leadership lessons from those who navigated some of history's most pivotal moments.   

This term will also feature the return of one of our most in-demand courses, The Adaptive Leader I, which has been fully revised and updated to better meet the needs of our state agency students and their partners.  

Space is limited and classes fill fast so register now!

Fall Online Courses and Webinars Will Include:
(Click the course icon for more info)  
  Adaptive Leader 1
The Adaptive Leader I
6-Week Online Course

Leadership is an improvisational art that requires experimenting using smart risks.One of MAT's most in-demand courses, Adaptive Leader I explores the principles of Adaptive LeadershipTM as described by Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. This course is designed to introduce students to new, groundbreaking concepts in leadership.   
 6-Week Online Course

MAT is pleased to announce its newest leadership course "Conflict."  Hugh O'Doherty, lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and consultant with Cambridge Leadership Associates shares his varied experiences and personal knowledge of conflict management  from the world's stage. In this course, Mr. O'Doherty will  introduce you to the theories and neuroscience associated with conflict development and provide tools for conflict management.

Eyewitness to Leadership    
Eyewitness to Leadership:
Examining Adaptive Leadership Through Turning Points in History
6-Week Online Course

History is an ever-present teacher. Eyewitness to Leadership: Examining Adaptive Leadership Through Turning Points in History is designed to enhance and deepen participant understanding of adaptive leadership by bringing the concepts to life through the examination of historical turning points. Through a combination of documentary videos, movies, on-line discussion, reading, analysis, self-study, critical thinking, and writing, participants will "witness" the exercise of adaptive leadership through events that turned history and shaped the present. This course has a prerequisite. Please see full course description for details.  
Good to Great  
Going from Good to Great
4-week Online Course

Why do some companies have continuing, sustained growth in excess of those companies around them? What is it that makes them different? There are no silver bullets in leading an agency from good to great. But there are some commonalities of great companies. Lively discussions will focus around these concepts researched by Jim Collins in his best-selling book, Good to Great.

Leader as Communicator 
Leader as Communicator
 4-week Online Course
Leader as Communicator will help state fish and wildlife agency participants understand and value communication as a tool of leadership. Applying the techniques in this course can help to create a culture of communication in their organization that changes how people talk with one another, develop presentations, gather input, address challenges and make commitments that get results in changing times.

Problem Solving and Decision Making  
Problem Solving and Decision Making
2-hour Webinar 

This one session, two hour webinar delves deep into the incredibly important skill sets associated with effective and efficient decision-making and problem-solving. MAT will be offering 2 sessions of Problem Solving, one on August 26th and another on August 28th, both from 2pm to 4PM ET.

Visionary Leadership
 Visionary Leadership
6-week Online Course

This six week online course focuses on increasing your leadership effectiveness by learning about the powerful tool of Visioning. The material will start you on a journey of practicing visionary leadership....a game-changer for you personally, your agency and potentially the whole world. 

Some important information about Fall Registration:
  • Like Summer 2014, Fall courses will be conducted free of charge! Although we have been diligent about designing both the new system and our new and revised courses, we know that you are still test driving the system. We would appreciate your feedback about the system through a survey we will circulate at the end of the term.
  • If you have not created an account with our new learning management system HERE, you will need to do so to register for courses. This applies to all students, even returning MAT students, unless you created an account for Summer 2014 or AFTER June 1st, 2014. 
  • MAT also has a brand new website for 2014, so if you have problems accessing any links, please clear your web browsers cache and cookies. 
Have a question about registration? Contact Amanda Myers at or 304-876-7797  

Friday, August 15, 2014

The National Conservation Leadership Institute Announces 2014-2015 Fellows for Cohort 9

The National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI) is pleased to announce the ninth cohort of 36 Fellows for the 2014-2015 leadership development program. These conservation professionals will join the ranks of Fellows, now alumni, previously selected since 2006 from state agencies, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and companies working in the natural resources industry. NCLI Fellows have become widely regarded as future senior leaders who will help to build a conservation legacy for the next generation.

The 2014-2015 Fellows are:
 Chad Bishop, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
David Brakhage, Ducks Unlimited
Judy Crandell, Caterpillar Inc.
Jack Daugherty, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Jeffrey Davis, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Michael Denson, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Ali Duvall, Intermountain West Joint Venture
John Fitts, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
Elsa Gallagher, Pheasants Forever
Thomas Guess, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Jennifer Hauxwell, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 
Rebecca Hensley, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Mark Humpert, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Richard Jacobson, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Martin Jennings, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Todd Kalish, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Sammy King, U.S. Geological Survey
Rebekah Martin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Jeffrey McCreary, Ducks Unlimited
 Meredith Nevers, U.S. Geological Survey

Jennifer Norris, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Maria Palamar, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Lincoln Parrett, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Kirk Patten, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

Joel Porath, Missouri Department of Conservation

Karen Prentice, Bureau of Land Management

Michael Schiavone, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Carrie Selberg, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Justin Shannon, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Sam Sheppard, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

James Teare, Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Kellie Tharp, Arizona Game and Fish Department

Marla Trollan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tony Wasley, Nevada Department of Wildlife

Tammy Whittington, National Park Service

Dave Zafft, Wyoming Game and Fish Department 

The 36 Fellows of Cohort 9 will begin their intensive eight-month training experience at the National Conservation Training Center in October 2014. They will join an ever-growing network of more than 280 professionals who have come together from conservation organizations across the nation to further develop their leadership capacity through the NCLI experience. To learn more about the NCLI, go to

Monday, August 4, 2014

Announcing the 5th Annual Wildlife Viewing and Nature Tourism Workshop & Call for Presentations

The 5th Annual Wildlife Viewing and Nature Tourism Workshop Engaging Wildlife Viewers and Nature Tourists in Conservation: New and Innovative Programs” will be held at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch St. Louis, Missouri on the opening day of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Annual Meeting--Sunday, September 21, 2014.

Workshop discussions will focus on engaging the wildlife viewing and nature tourism community to achieve positive results for fish and wildlife conservation:
  • How can we increase the engagement of wildlife viewers and nature tourists in fish and conservation?
  • How can we ensure wildlife viewing participation and nature tourism remain strong?
  • How can wildlife viewing and nature tourism support fish and wildlife conservation?

 This workshop is designed to explore these topics and share success in implementing effective conservation partnerships and programs.

Professional staff involved in wildlife diversity, wildlife viewing, nature tourism, bird conservation, communications, marketing and outreach looking for support and innovative ways to advance conservation through wildlife viewing and nature tourism programs are encouraged to participate in the workshop. The cost of the workshops is included in the full AFWA Annual Meeting conference registration or $25, payable at the door.

For more information, please contact Anne Glick, Section Leader at Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ( and 850-922-0664). Please RSVP by Sept. 5, 2014.

Call for Presentations
“Engaging Wildlife Viewers and Nature Tourists in Conservation: New and Innovative Programs”

Come share your organization’s new or established innovative programs with fellow professionals at the 5th Annual Workshop of the Wildlife Viewing and Nature Tourism Working Group.
Following the “To the Point” model, presentations should not exceed 10 minutes with an additional 5 minutes for Q and A. Agencies may submit more than one topic for presentation.

Submission deadline is August 15
Presenters will be notified by August 22. Those selected will be asked to present without financial compensation. This workshop cost is included in your conference registration or $25, payable at the door.

Please submit 300 words or less presentation proposals via e-mail to:

Anne Glick ( and 850-922-0664).