Wildlife Management Institute

Opening Remarks by Steve Williams at North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:54

image of Steve Williams delivering opening remarks at 2014 North American Conference

Welcome to the 79th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. WMI thanks you and all the conference co-sponsors, exhibitors, state agency contributors, and special session organizers who are critical to help make this conference successful. I would like to offer special thanks to Bob Broscheid for welcoming us to Colorado and Jim Kurth and Ed Cantu who also join me this morning in the plenary session.

Administration Proposes Clean Water Act Protection for Streams and Wetlands
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:44

image of wetlands at Indiana Dunes, Credit: Tom Gill, Flickr

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) are seeking comments on a proposed rule that would define the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The new “Waters of the United States” rule, released on March 25, is intended to clarify which streams and wetlands fall under the jurisdiction of the Act after two Supreme Court rulings removed protection for isolated wetlands and other ephemeral water bodies over a decade ago. Many wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation organizations, including the Wildlife Management Institute, lauded the proposal but many industry groups and western lawmakers are expressing their opposition.

Conservation Briefs
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:22

Conservation Briefs is a compilation of short news stories of interest to Outdoor News Bulletin readers. The stories cover a number of issues that have developed in the past month or provide updates on issues that were featured in previous ONB editions. Each story includes links to online resources for more details on each topic.

This month:

WMI Landscapes: White Mountains to Moosehead Lake Initiative, a NALCC Demonstration Project
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:07

The White Mountains to Moosehead Lake Initiative (the Initiative) is a project recently completed by the Trust for Public Land (TPL) through funding from the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NALCC) Demonstration Projects. The NALCC seeks Demonstration Projects that show how existing conservation tools developed through previous NALCC-funded projects can be used to enhance and facilitate regional conservation efforts on the ground. The Initiative sought NALCC funds to use NALCC tools and products to develop a parcel level plan to prioritize tracts for conservation based on their significance for climate resilience. TPL sought to improve planning and prioritization throughout the White Mountains and Moosehead Lake Corridor through an online portal accessible to stakeholders, as well as through public meetings with the stakeholders.

Does the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program Need a Tune-up?
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:51

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, or WSFR Program, is the umbrella for funds collected under the authority of Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts and continues to be the backbone of conservation in this country. However technological advances, inconsistent regional application and enforcement, and procedural loopholes in the laws that didn’t even exist when they were passed are now threatening to cripple this vital source of state-level conservation revenue. The Wildlife Management Institute, with funding through a Multi-State Conservation Grant, is working to resolve these issues and restore integrity and fairness to the application of these two important conservation laws.

John Organ Receives WMI Grinnell Award
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:39

image of John Organ receiving Grinnell Award from Steve Williams, Credit: WMI

John Organ, past president of The Wildlife Society, champion of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, current Division Chief of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and internationally respected biologist was presented with the Wildlife Management Institute’s 2014 George Bird Grinnell Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Natural Resource Conservation. The award was conferred on Wednesday, March 12, during the 79th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Denver, Colorado.

Prairie Conservation Campaign Launched
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:16

image of Iowa prairie wetlands, Credit: Plains & Prairie Potholes Landscape Conservation, FlickrA group of conservation organizations has joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks to launch the “Prairies Conservation Campaign.” The Campaign’s objective is to bring attention to the dramatic conversion of grasslands and wetlands to cropland in the prairie pothole region, according to the Wildlife Management Institute.

Cooperative Research Unit Corner - Transboundary Seabird Research in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 10:00

image of Audubon's shearwater with chick, Credit: Patrick Jodiceimage of USGS Cooperative Research Units logo

By their very nature, seabirds embody the complexity of wildlife ecology and conservation in the 21st century. They cross distinct ecological boundaries on a regular basis to forage and transit through international waters on a daily, weekly, or monthly time frame. The wide-ranging and transboundary nature of seabird ecology exposes these species to various environmental and anthropogenic forces such as contamination, commercial fishing, and climate forcing that also are transboundary in nature. As such, seabirds represent a unique research and management challenge that require large-scale studies, multi-partner support, and international cooperation. Since 2008, the South Carolina Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit has been conducting research on the movement patterns of seabirds that breed in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico with the aim of gathering data that can be used by agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and state/provincial agencies to inform marine spatial planning efforts both in the U.S. and throughout the region.