Outdoor News Bulletin

Outdoor News Bulletin

April 2018 Edition | Volume 72, Issue 4 | Published since 1946

Opening Remarks by WMI President Steve Williams During the 83rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference

Welcome to the 83rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. Thank you all for participating and special thanks to all the state agency, federal agency, non-governmental organizations, businesses, industries, and exhibitors for your financial support to help make this conference successful. I also want to thank all the special session chairs, workshop chairs, and the speakers, for addressing the conservation challenges facing our nation. Finally, thank you Bob Duncan for your welcome to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Songbirds Soaring Off the ESA

In mid-April, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made announcements about the status of two migratory songbirds. On April 11, the agency announced that it is proposing to delist the Kirtland’s warbler. This was followed just two days later with the announcement that the black-capped vireo no longer needs Endangered Species Act protection.

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Dr. John Fischer Receives 2018 Grinnell Award

Dr. John Fischer, Director of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia, won the prestigious George Bird Grinnell Award for Distinguished Service to Natural Resource Conservation from the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI). Fischer received the award during the Conservation Administrators Luncheon hosted by WMI in conjunction with the 83rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held last month in Norfolk, Virginia.

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Wildlife Management Institute Receives Boone and Crockett Club Conservation and Stewardship Award for 2018

The Wildlife Management Institute received the Boone and Crockett Club’s prestigious Conservation and Stewardship Award during the Club’s meeting held last month during the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. The award is presented to the individual or organization that best exemplifies the core values of the Boone and Crockett Club and its founder, Theodore Roosevelt: Conservation—acts of guarding, protecting, developing, and using natural resources wisely and sustainably, and Stewardship—planning for and managing natural resources responsibly.

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Smoothing Rough Edges Along the Texas/Oklahoma Border

Fish and wildlife are oblivious to the lines people draw on maps to separate jurisdictions. Agencies need to think and act in ways that look “beyond borders” as well in order to address landscape-level conservation. A recently completed project along the Texas/Oklahoma border makes that easier for managers in both states. With support from the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative, a team led by Dr. David Diamond resolved differences in the ecological mapping systems in Texas and Oklahoma and developed methods to keep the two states’ systems coordinated in the future. As a result, managers in these states can now use a common ecological frame of reference to develop conservation strategies that match the life histories of the species on the landscape.

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Partnering for Conservation in the Mimbres River Valley

The Mimbres River flows out of the Gila Wilderness and off the west flank of the Black Range, part of a physiographic province called the Mogollon Rim which spans in a massive arc-shaped form over parts of New Mexico and Arizona. The river pours off the mountainsides and through canyons before feeding fields of alfalfa, orchards, pasture and chile. What’s left of the river is soaked up by sun and sand well downstream. The fact that the river naturally terminated on the desert floor leads partly to the valley’s biological diversity, and the Mimbres Valley and its springs are home to Chiricahua leopard frog and Chihuahua chub. The region is also home to a partner-led conservation effort to restore these declining species.

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Cooperative Research Unit Corner

Using Environmental Niche Models to Determine the Distribution of the Oklahoma-state Endangered Longnose Darter

Currently, little is known regarding the status of the state-endangered longnose darter, one of Oklahoma’s rarest fish species. Longnose darters were known to be found in two river systems in Oklahoma but are believed to have been extirpated from the Poteau River system. Darters such as this are indicators of habitat quality and their loss is usually a sign of larger alterations in the watershed. Lee Creek is one of Oklahoma’s six rivers designated as “scenic” by the Oklahoma Legislature and this designation helps ensure quality habitat, which could help explain why longnose darters continue to inhabit Lee Creek. Researchers at the Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit are developing an environmental niche model in Lee Creek for use in determining the presence of longnose darter in the Poteau River system.

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