Posted by WAFWA on November 1, 2019

Resources Legacy Fund is partnering again with the Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) through the Open Rivers Fund to execute an ambitious watershed-scale restoration effort in the Warner Basin in southeast Oregon. The partnership will benefit several fish species of concern in the Warner Lakes, recreational fishing, and ranchers who divert water for irrigation.
Fish that will be conserved as part of this effort include the Warner Lakes Redband trout which is a state sensitive and federal species of concern, and also the Warner sucker, which is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The partnership will ultimately fund ten restoration projects over seven years to open 38 stream miles in the Warner Basin by 2025. This year’s grant of $190,000 will support the first four projects in the portfolio. 
“We are excited for our continued partnership with the Western Native Trout Initiative in showcasing the effectiveness of updating in-stream infrastructure giving landowners better irrigation while also reconnecting rivers for fish,” said Shara Sparks, Program Manager at Resources Legacy Fund.  “We are proud to continue supporting this important work, which is part of a larger portfolio of projects in our Open Rivers Fund, restoring rivers throughout the West.”
Other partners in the project include the Lake County Umbrella Watershed Council, Lakeview Soil and Water Conservation District, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, River Design Group, and Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board on the project. 

WNTI is awarding more than $200,000 in grant funding for eight projects that benefit native trout species across the western United States. The community-based projects are funded through the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The projects were selected because of their emphasis on collaborative action to address some of the biggest challenges facing the restoration and recovery of western native trout. 

“The main objective of the Western Native Trout Initiative is to leverage and catalyze strategic, local efforts that stabilize, recover and improve populations of western native trout,” said WNTI Coordinator Therese Thompson. “In addition to the grant funding we’re providing through the National Fish Habitat Partnership, local partners have secured additional matching funds totaling $2.186 million dollars for these projects.”
For more detail about the projects:

Conservation biologists across the West are collaborating on a strategy to help save the monarch butterfly. In June, the Western Monarch Working Group convened a “Take Flight Conservation” meeting in Reno, Nevada to begin implementing the conservation strategies outlined in the Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan. Nearly 60 participants took part in the discussions to identify short and long-term actions to conserve the population of monarchs in the western United States. Monarch experts will gather again in January 2020 at the Western Monarch Summit in Pacific Grove/Carmel By-the Sea, California. The summit is focused on citizen science and will feature presentations and interaction with some of the most prominent Monarch advocates in the country, who will provide information to participants on what they can do to contribute to Monarch conservation.

WAFWA is moving their Boise headquarters to a new address effective Dec. 1:

Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 
3380 American Terrace, Suite 320, Boise, ID 83706
WAFWA’s main phone number will remain the same at 208-331-9431

There is also a new face at WAFWA!  Bonnie Ricord joined the team in late August as a Program Specialist. Her work includes supporting the efforts of program leads working on a number of key WAFWA initiatives. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont, where she majored in Natural Resource Ecology. 

We also said good-bye to our CFO Deb Von de Bur. Deb left WAFWA in October to purse a new opportunity at Northern AZ University in Flagstaff.