Outdoor News Bulletin

Outdoor News Bulletin

April 2020 Edition | Volume 74, Issue 4 | Published since 1946

Scientific Research Essential to Solving COVID-19 Outbreak

The current coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic by World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. Since then, there have been massive changes in the daily lives of people around the globe. State fish and wildlife agencies have made state-specific decisions affecting access to state lands, changes to non-resident hunting access, meeting cancellations, and other impacts on fish and wildlife management activities. Similar effects are happening within the federal government and with non-profit organizations. Rather than focusing on the many impacts in our country which are changing on a daily basis, this story provides a background on coronaviruses and the connection with wildlife diseases. This article draws extensively from the website of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

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Piloting the Relevancy Roadmap

The Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) is working with six states to pilot implementation of the Fish and Wildlife Relevancy Roadmap. Funding provided by a Multi-State Conservation Grant from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is being used to provide consultation, training, and other forms of support for efforts by Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania to overcome barriers to engaging and serving broader constituencies. The states’ projects include developing enhanced stakeholder engagement processes, surveying residents in two states to identify ways to attract new users to state wildlife areas, exploring ways to reduce the gaps between one agency’s culture and minority and Hispanic communities, and understanding barriers to participation in fishing and boating among residents of a large metropolitan area. WMI will also create an online portal where these six states and any others that are working to expand their constituencies can share ideas, successes, and lessons learned. Broadening constituency support for fish and wildlife conservation will be more important than ever, given the likely social and economic conditions the country will face in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Update on Northeast RCN 2.0 Projects

The Regional Conservation Needs (RCN) grant program was created as a mechanism to share expertise and funding by Northeastern states to address landscape-scale issues, advance collaboration and likelihood of success, and result in more effective conservation of species. The first phase of the RCN program was developed in 2007, resulting in 47 funded regional conservation projects. The current phase, RCN 2.0, was developed in 2017, and is organized around three projects – Turtles, Pollinators, and Technical Services – with objectives for the period 2018 to 2022. Each project has multiple jobs, and under each job are multiple General Service Agreements (GSAs). A summary of the progress and status of the GSAs follows.

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Cooperative Research Unit Corner

Citizen Science Helps to Inform Ornamental Fishery Decisions in Hawaii

The commercial collection of marine ornamental fishes from coral reefs for the aquarium trade is one of the most controversial fisheries in Hawai'i. While there are numerous socio-economic, cultural, and ethical issues surrounding the fishery, most of the controversy relates to whether the fishery is being managed sustainably. The Hawai'i Cooperative Fishery Research Unit is assessing the impact of the marine ornamental fishery on Hawaiian reefs by using citizen-diver data sources independent of the existing state monitoring and permit-holder reporting programs.

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