Outdoor News Bulletin

Outdoor News Bulletin

February 2020 Edition | Volume 74, Issue 2 | Published since 1946

Navigable Waters Protection Rule Finalized as Part of WOTUS Reform

On January 23, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) finalized the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to define “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. Within the new rule, the agencies are recognizing the difference between federally protected and state protected wetlands to “achieve the proper relationship between the federal government and states in managing land and water resources.”

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New Boreal Partnership Provides Local and Global Benefits

The boreal forest is the largest contiguous forest landscape on Earth. It stretches from the Atlantic coast of Canada to the Bering Sea in Alaska and from the Great Lakes to the arctic. It is the largest source of surface fresh water on the planet and vast amounts of carbon are stored in the soil and vegetation across this landscape. The boreal forest provides critical breeding grounds for millions of migratory birds and year-round habitat for thousands of species, many of which are important to the economy and cultures of people living in northern Canada and Alaska. Although the human population density across the boreal remains low, impacts from climate change and resource extraction are accelerating. That’s why collaborative approaches like the recently announced partnership agreement between Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Louisiana-Pacific Building Solutions (LP) are vitally important to conservation at both the local and global scale.

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Conservation Partners Review Progress in New England Cottontail Restoration

Scientists, foresters, and communications specialists from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and Connecticut joined with colleagues from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Wildlife Management Institute at the annual New England Cottontail Technical Committee meeting. The purpose of the meeting, held January 14-16, 2020, in Southbury, CT, was to advance efforts in carrying out the Conservation Strategy for the New England Cottontail, released in 2012, a science-based strategy that relies on an adaptive management approach, incorporating frequent, ongoing input from field biologists and researchers.

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White-nose Syndrome Digital Game

Online digital games can offer a creative and engaging pathway for younger audiences to learn. Ravenswood media was recently awarded a USFWS White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) Small Grants Award to design a game that would help educate younger audiences about the disease. The digital game team lead by Ravenswood Media included Arbor Interactive as the game designer and WNS and bat expertise from Heidi Krester of Wildlife Conservation Society. Together they were tasked with creating a digital game that would be fun to play, and still manage to introduce complicated concepts of disease management and population ecology.

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Cooperative Research Unit Corner

Oxbow Restoration in Iowa with an Emphasis on Topeka Shiner

The Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Iowa State University is leading research on two projects focusing on oxbow restorations and the federally endangered Topeka shiner. These projects have provided insight into the habitat preferences and fish assemblage associations of Topeka shiner in oxbows, compared the occurrence and abundance of the species in restored and unrestored oxbows, updated the status of Topeka Shiner in Iowa, and developed GIS tools to identify potential sites of future oxbow restorations within the region.

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