ON THE HORIZON: October 2018, Issue 14

Posted by WAFWA on October 1, 2018
A nationwide search is underway for a new Executive Director for WAFWA. Longtime Executive Secretary Larry Kruckenberg announced earlier this year that he will retire in March 2019.

“We are at an exciting time in our history and we are positioning WAFWA to be an even stronger and more effective organization in the future,” said WAFWA President Keith Sexson. “This is a critically important position to our membership and is a great career opportunity for the right candidate.”

The application period for the position opened Oct. 15 and will close on Dec. 1. Interviews for final candidates will be held Jan. 3 in Tucson, in conjunction with WAFWA’s mid-winter meeting. A hiring decision will be made by Jan. 31 with an anticipated start date of April 1. The duty station for this position is WAFWA’s headquarters office in Boise, Idaho.

The job announcement and entire position description can be found on WAFWA’s website at www.wafwa.org.The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has awarded a grant to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) to develop a regional strategy and supporting plans to improve coordination among monarch butterfly conservation partners west of the Rocky Mountains.

The $120,000 grant was matched by $120,000 from WAFWA members states of Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. The grant will provide for increased organizational capacity and coordination among organizations, states and regions engaged in pollinator conservation. State and federal agencies and other conservation partners will be invited to participate in the development of a Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan.

“This is a great opportunity for WAFWA and the member states within the range of the western population of monarchs to work collaboratively with all partners interested in monarch and pollinator conservation,” said Bill Van Pelt, WAFWA Grassland Coordinator. “Developing a regional conservation plan will not only benefit monarchs and other pollinators, but all wildlife species that depend on healthy diverse grassland habitats.”

The grant awarded to WAFWA is one of seven grant awards totaling more than $920,000 to conserve monarch butterflies and other insect pollinators in 19 states across the country. The grants will generate more than $2 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of more than $2.9 million.

The 2018 grants were awarded through NFWF’s Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund. This year’s funding partners include Shell Oil Company, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Bureau of Land Management.
 The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) has awarded $23,205 out of its small grant program for nine projects, which will be matched by $514,364 in other public and private funding. More than $537,569 in conservation efforts benefitting western native trout will occur as a result.”We’re very grateful to our partners at Rocky Mountain Flyathlon, RepYourWater, Basin+Bend, and all our individual donors for supporting our 2018 Small Grants Program,” said Therese Thompson, WNTI Project Coordinator. “The community-based projects were selected because of their emphasis on collaborative action and outreach to help address challenges facing the restoration and recovery of western native trout.”The Western Native Trout Initiative will be awarding significant grant funding for projects that benefit 21 species of native trout species across the western United States. While WNTI is supported by many different entities and partners, the bulk of project funding is currently made available to grantees annually through the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Projects that have successfully competed in the past 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. More than $232,000 in grant funding was awarded last year. The deadline for applications is Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.Ken Mayer has been involved in sagebrush conservation issues for 30 years and now serves as the Coordinator of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) Fire and Invasive Initiative. He also serves as the Chairman of the WAFWA Fire and Invasive Working Group. As part of a recent online storytelling series called “People of the Sage,” Mayer wrote an essay about his take on the invasive nature of cheatgrass, its impact on the western landscape, and how we have the tools to fight this ecological challenge together. You can also find and share Mayer’s essay and others in the series by searching for #sagebrushcountry and #fireANDinvasives on social media.A new update is available on WAFWA’s website about progress toward meeting the goals in the Lesser Prairie-chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan. The new publication details the impact of the plan thus far, and identifies challenges the plan faces.