Wildlife Management Institute

Final Appropriations, Tax Bills Provide Mixed Bag for Conservation
Friday, 15 January 2016 12:38

image of Capitol Building, Credit: vgm8383, Flickr

On December 18, Congress passed two pieces of legislation that included pluses and minuses for conservation programs, according to the Wildlife Management Institute. The omnibus appropriations bill, that funds federal government programs through September 30, 2016, provides funding boosts for some conservation programs while not including a number of legislative riders targeting natural resource policies. However, some key programs received reduced funding, and efforts to prevent borrowing for severe wildfires was not included. In addition, tax legislation, known as the Tax Extenders bill, also was enacted that includes permanent authorization for tax incentives for the donation of conservation easements.

WMI Landscapes: Mapping the Distribution, Abundance and Risk Assessment of Marine Birds in the Northwest Atlantic
Friday, 15 January 2016 12:26

image of Marine Bird Distribution Map, Credit: North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative

The North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative and its partners recently completed a large, collaborative mapping effort to show the distribution and abundance of marine birds in the Northwest Atlantic. Spatial and temporal information on the occupancy patterns of birds in offshore habitats is otherwise lacking throughout much of the North and Mid-Atlantic. The goal of the mapping effort was to develop and demonstrate techniques to document and predict areas of frequent use and aggregations of birds as well as the relative risk to marine birds within these areas.

North American Conference Special Session: 2020 Vision: Federal Forest Management into the Next Decade
Friday, 15 January 2016 11:59

image of Allegheny National Forest, Credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli, Flickr

Decades of reduced harvest and aggressive fire suppression, coupled with drought and invasive species eruptions, have left millions of acres of federal forestlands in unhealthy conditions. Many of our public forests provide little wildlife habitat diversity, increase risk of severe wildfires, and threaten watersheds that provide drinking water to millions of Americans. A Special Session at the 81st North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference will explore the past and current situation regarding forest management on public lands and address needed administrative and legislative reforms to improve active forest management policy and better address multiple objectives on public forest lands. 2020 Vision: Federal Forest Management into the Next Decade is one of four concurrent Special Sessions to be held on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 10:00am-12:00pm at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

North American Conference Workshop: Pennsylvania Conservation Partnerships
Friday, 15 January 2016 11:49

A workshop at the 81st North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference will provide a snapshot of resource management initiatives in Pennsylvania and highlight how partnerships are supporting conservation actions to address the rapidly changing needs of the Commonwealth’s natural resources. This workshop, titled A Foundation for Managing Pennsylvania’s Fish and Wildlife:  Partnerships in the Early 21st Century, is slated for Tuesday, March 15 from 8:00 a.m. to noon at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Florida Pilots Wildlife Governance Principles Workshop
Friday, 15 January 2016 12:33

Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) Western Field Representative Chris Smith, Dr. Dan Decker with Cornell University, Ann Forstchen with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) and Dr. Pat Lederle with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently completed the first Wildlife Governance Principles (WGPs) pilot workshop in Florida. The workshop, supported by a multi-state conservation grant with matching contributions from WMI, Cornell, FWCC and the Michigan DNR, was one of two sessions designed to develop ways to assess a state agency’s alignment with recently-developed WGPs and identify ways to enhance states’ abilities to fulfill public trust responsibilities. The workshop identified 10 important practices FWCC could adapt to increase alignment with WGPs and a number of ways future workshops could be improved.

Prevalence of Fungal Dermatitis in New England Timber Rattlesnakes
Friday, 15 January 2016 12:12

Image of Timber Rattlesnake with Dermatits

The Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) is identified as a species of ‘Severe Concern’ by the Northeast Partners for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NEPARC, 2010) and the species is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in 12 Northeast states. It is believed to be extant in only 10 of those states. A recent study, funded through the Regional Conservation Needs Grants program, evaluated the prevalence of a disease that may be impacting regional Timber Rattlesnake populations.

North American Conference Workshop: Links Between Science and Management in Natural Resources
Friday, 15 January 2016 11:53

The relationship between science and management has traditionally been thought of as mutually reinforcing, with scientific investigation and discovery informing management on the one hand, and management helping to guide and focus science on the other. Unfortunately, recent trends suggest a slow unraveling of this integration within the natural resource community. A workshop at the 81st North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, Barriers and Bridges in Reconnecting Natural Resources Science and Management, will address the issue by engaging the audience to identify the causes of these trends and possible steps that can be taken to re-connect natural resource science and management. The workshop is slated for Tuesday, March 15, 2015 at 1:00 p.m., at the Wyndham Grand Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA.

CRU Corner: Continued Decline of the Northern Spotted Owl Associated with the Climate, Habitat Loss, and Invasive Barred Owl
Friday, 15 January 2016 11:36

image of USGS Cooperative Research Units logoimage of spotted owls, Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Geological Survey Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit led an effort to examine the status and trends of northern spotted owl populations throughout their range from 1985-2013 as well as the factors that affect the species’ demographic rates. The resulting paper titled “The effects of habitat, climate and barred owls on long-term demography of northern spotted owls,” was published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications. This research is part of the Interagency Northwest Forest Plan Monitoring Program supported by 10 federal agencies. This particular study was funded by the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Pacific Southwest Regions, and Bureau of Land Management. A new U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station website promotes awareness of the research.