On the Horizon: December 2018, Issue 15

Posted by WAFWA on December 1, 2018
The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) is seeking public comment on a draft regional plan to enhance and target monarch butterfly conservation west of the Rocky Mountains. In September 2018, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awarded a grant to WAFWA to develop a regional strategy to improve coordination and conservation among monarch butterfly and other pollinator partners.

The monarch butterfly is an iconic species in North America and its annual migration cycle is one of the most remarkable natural phenomena in the world. However, over the past 20 years, the monarch butterfly population has declined by more than 80 percent throughout much of its range. Several other pollinators have experienced similarly dramatic declines in recent decades. Habitat loss is a primary threat to many of these species.

Since January 2018, WAFWA members states of Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada have been leading an effort to develop a conservation strategy to conserve and enhance monarch populations west of the Rockies. University and non-governmental partners interested in monarch and pollinator conservation are also involved in the effort.
?WAFWA and their partners are inviting the public to participate in the development of the Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan. The public is encouraged to provide input by sending comments to MonarchComments@wildlife.ca.gov by December 6, 2018.
The Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) has hired Joy Morris as the new Water 4 Initiative Coordinator. The position is one of six IWJV positions hosted by WAFWA through a cooperative agreement that is maximizing conservation efforts in the West.

The goal of the Water 4 Initiative is to conserve working wet meadows and “water for” agriculture, wildlife and fisheries habitat, groundwater recharge, recreation, and other services that matter to people. Morris brings a wealth of experience to the new position and has worked on water and conservation challenges in Western landscapes through numerous organizations including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“We are grateful to our Management Board members and partners who contributed time, energy, and resources to the development of this exciting new initiative and who helped to bring Joy Morris on board,” said Dave Smith, IWJV Coordinator. “We look forward to officially launching the Water 4 Initiative with her in the coming months.”
The Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) is currently recruiting a Sagebrush Collaborative Conservation Specialist. The new hire will lead the strategic, partner-driven conservation of sagebrush by helping implement the IWJV’s Partnering to Conserve Sagebrush Rangelands Initiative. To find out more about the position:
The National Fish and Habitat Partnership (NFHP) has a new Board Chair. Ed Schriever, Deputy Director for Idaho Department of Fish and Game was voted in as chair in October. He previously represented WAFWA on the Board. Schriever replaced Tom Champeau, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who retired from state service in September 2018.

“I am very honored to serve as Chairman of the National Fish Habitat Partnership Board and work collaboratively with all of our partners,? said Schriever. ?I am thankful for the opportunity to have represented WAFWA on the Board for the past three years and I look forward to the positive outcomes and benefits the National Fish Habitat Partnership continues to generate for anglers, people and communities as we work into the second decade of NFHP.”

WAFWA’s new representative on the NFHP Board is Chris Cantrell who is the Aquatic Wildlife Branch Chief at Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Since 2006, the National Fish Habitat Partnership has supported 777 projects benefiting fish habitat in all 50 states. The 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 of 20 regionally-based Fish Habitat Partnerships.
Trout Unlimited and the US Forest Service recently released a short film about a project that is restoring Tincup Creek riparian and instream trout habitat in eastern Idaho. The project was funded through the National Fish Habitat Partnership and was co-funded by WAFWA’s Western Native Trout Initiative and? the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership.