Thursday, May 26, 2016

Beyond the Pond Non-Profit Established to Benefit National Fish Habitat Partnership

501(c)3 seeks to help Partnerships raise corporate donations and enhance partnership fundraising

(Washington, DC) – The National Fish Habitat Fund, marketed under the brand Beyond the Pond, has launched a website and proactive communication platform to benefit the National Fish Habitat Partnership. Beyond the Pond, a 501(c)3 organization which received IRS approval in 2015, was established to help build capacity for the 19 Fish Habitat Partnerships established across the country by providing an opportunity to connect with the private sector.

Beyond the Pond, has established a Board of Directors, by-laws and charter and has launched a website, that will serve as a platform to highlight conservation work by our partnerships and serve as space for collaboration.

“Our hope is that Beyond the Pond will catalyze much-needed capacity for our Fish Habitat Partnerships,” said Kelly Hepler, Chair of the Beyond the Pond Board. “Beyond the Pond provides a platform for our Fish Habitat Partnerships to make stronger and beneficial connections with corporations across America and demonstrate how the private sector can work with the government.”

The Beyond the Pond website focuses on the economic, social, and ecological importance of fish habitat conservation, as well as the work of the regional, community-based Partnerships and their successes.   It is designed to assist potential corporate partners and donors in understanding how they can best help make an impact.  In addition to having testimonials from supporting organizations, and highlighting Beyond the Pond conservation goals; the site will provide global coverage of relevant conservation  issues and real-life conservation stories from the 19 Fish Habitat Partnerships and our other

collaborators.  Under the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the 19 Regional Fish Habitat Partnerships are considered chapters of Beyond the Pond, which provides a diverse opportunity to raise funds for on- the-ground habitat conservation projects.

The Board of Director’s for Beyond the Pond includes a wide array of conservation experts from states, conservation organizations, academia and the business community, including:

Mike Andrews (The Nature Conservancy)
Tom Champeau (Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission)
Jon Johnson (University of Arkansas, Walton College of Business)
Kelly Hepler – Board Chair (Secretary, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department)
John Land Le Coq (Fishpond) Dick Ludington (Fay Ranches) Steve Moyer (Trout Unlimited)
Rich Rosengren (The Nature Conservancy)

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. For more information visit:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Solar 101 Workshop

When: July 12-13, 2016

Where: Raleigh, NC

Description: The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission have partnered with the solar industry to host the first Solar 101 workshop. This will be a 1.5 day workshop to bring state and federal biologists and the solar industry together to discuss: solar industry siting, operation and maintenance, environmental effects of solar, industry best management practices and current and future research. The second day will be a field visit to a solar farm.

There is no registration fee for this workshop but the workshop is limited to the first 30 people who register. To register for the workshop please go to the following link:

A block of rooms for July 11th -13th has been set aside at the Holiday Inn Raleigh Downtown Capital. The hotel address is 320 Hilsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27603; reservations can be made by calling (855)-914-1878. The room rate is $84.00 per night for July 11th-13th; when making reservations use the AFWA Solar Workshop room block. The cutoff date for hotel reservations at the group rate is June 20th, 2016. If you have questions regarding registration or the hotel room block, please contact Caitlin Gaborow at or (315) 796-0647.

The workshop will be held at the North Carolina Green Square Building, 1210 Training Room, 217 W. Jones Street. This is within walking distance from the Holiday Inn. Transportation will be provided to the solar site and back to the Holiday Inn on Wednesday, July 13th.

The Association has funding to support a limited number of state fish and wildlife agency staff. Please contact Kathy Boydston at or (512) 389-8522 to inquire about travel support.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The State of North America’s Birds 2016 Report Released

North America United by its Birds to Secure Vital Habitats

Washington D.C. (May 19, 2016)- Yesterday, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) published The State of North America’s Birds 2016, the first comprehensive report assessing the conservation status of all bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States and Mexico. The report was released by NABCI partners at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Canada, on behalf of all three countries, with a simultaneous event at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, in partnership with International Migratory Bird Day. NABCI was created by Canada, the United States and Mexico as a tri-national commitment to protect birds and their habitats.

“This report will allow us to base conservation actions on the best available science on the status of birds and their habitats in North America,” said Environment and Climate Change Canada Minister Catherine McKenna. “It is an unprecedented continental analysis, drawing on the efforts of tens of thousands of citizen-scientists from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico.”

This report shows that more than one third of all North American bird species need urgent conservation action and calls for a renewed, continent-wide commitment to saving our shared birds and their habitats. Healthy environments for birds also provide benefits to other wildlife and people, such as clean air and water, flood and erosion control, and coastal resilience. When bird populations struggle, our natural resources are stressed. 

The report evaluates the conservation status of all native North American bird species across all major habitats —nine key ecosystems.  It is based on the first-ever conservation vulnerability assessment for all 1,154 native bird species that occur in Canada, the continental U.S., and Mexico, and reflects a collaboration between experts from all three countries.  The overall conservation status of each species takes into account its population trend, population size, extent of breeding and nonbreeding ranges, and severity of threats to populations.  Methodology information, the complete assessment database, animated maps and other resources are available at

“This report is a superb demonstration of the power of birds, and the growing power of citizen science. Tens of thousands of Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans contributed bird sightings to help produce an unprecedented continent-wide assessment of North America’s birds,” added Dr. John W. Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Because birds are sensitive barometers of environmental health, I encourage leaders across our three nations, in both government and industry, to consider the findings in this report, which is based on the best available science about our bird populations. Across the continent, it is the will of the people that these species and their habitats be conserved for the future.”

The State of North America’s Birds Report is being released during the Centennial year of the Migratory Bird Treaty, an agreement between the United States and Canada that promised collaborative conservation to protect the migratory birds of North America.  In 1936, twenty years after the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty, Mexico and the U.S. committed to a similar treaty, connecting all of North America in its efforts to protect our shared species.  This report reflects a groundbreaking collaboration to evaluate bird populations across the continent. It calls for a renewed commitment to continental bird conservation agreements to keep our shared birds safe and healthy for the next 100 years.

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is a key NABCI partner in the United States.  Three of the Association’s Committees or Working Groups- the Bird Conservation Committee, Resident Game Bird Working Group, and Migratory Shore and Upland Game Bird Working Group- are represented in the NABCI partnership.  For more information about AFWA’s partnership with NABCI, contact AFWA’s Bird Conservation Program Manager, Judith Scarl

For more information and to read the full report, visit
Learn more about the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial celebration at
For more ideas about how you can support bird conservation, visit .

The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) was created by the governments of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in 1999 after the diplomacy that produced NAFTA.  The NABCI agreement recognized birds as an international “natural economic resource.”  NABCI is a trinational commitment to protecting, restoring, and enhancing populations and habitats of North America’s birds—with an integrated vision for “all birds and all habitats.”  For more information, please visit:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Making the Connection with Millennials

Join us for a webinar on May 19, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT. 

Join us for the next Conservation Education Strategy webinar on May 19th at 12:00 eastern. One hour of your time will equate to more success in reaching the Millennial Generation -- confident, politically independent young people who as a group have overtaken Baby Boomers in population size, according to the Pew Research Center.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Wind and Wildlife Workshop

Where: NREL’s National Wind Technology Center, Louisville, CO
When: From June 21, 2016 - June 23, 2016 (June 20th and 24th as travel days)
Lodging: Omni Interlocken Hotel (reservation cut-off date May 27, 2016)

The full price for this event is $300.00. More information is available at

This 3 day workshop will combine science, conservation, and education to provide participants with the latest in research and monitoring techniques. Topics will include an overview of wind and wildlife issues, but the majority of time will be on field methods and equipment, data analysis and interpretation, and current and promising minimization strategies to reduce bat and bird fatalities at wind energy facilities. Participants should plan on gaining hands-on experience underneath wind turbines and using the latest software for estimating impact.

This workshop will provide classroom instructions and field demonstrations of post-construction methodology including
  • Grassland bird surveys
  • Raptor surveys
  • Fatality monitoring surveys
  • Night-time field demonstrations of thermal and near-infrared videography and ultrasonic detectors 

This will be complimented by classroom instructions and hands-on training, including 
  • Fatality estimation
  • Evidence of absence analysis, focusing on challenges of detecting rare or endangered species
  • Post-processing of thermal video
  • Impact reduction and mitigation options for bats and birds 

This workshop will help individuals plan projects, implement field methods, interpret reports, and better understand wildlife and wind energy issues. The diversity of participants and instructors will provide multiple perspectives related to these issues.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is hosting the workshop*. Meals and refreshments provided by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Bat Conservation International. Registration fees include transportation to and from the wind energy facility and conference hotel, course materials, and instruction by leading experts from American Wind Wildlife Institute, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Bat Conservation International, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc., Zotz Ecological Solutions, and others.