Outdoor News Bulletin

Outdoor News Bulletin

March 2019 Edition | Volume 73, Issue 3 | Published since 1946

Opening Remarks by WMI President Steve Williams During the 84th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference

Welcome to the 84th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. I want to thank all the attendees for taking time out of your busy schedules to participate in this conference. I offer 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 recognize the special session chairs, workshop chairs, and the speakers. Thank you for your time and efforts to provide meaningful dialogue on the conservation challenges facing our nation.

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Northwest Boreal Social Network Analysis

A recent study analyzed the social network among conservation partners across the boreal forest region of Alaska, Yukon, British Columbia and western Northwest Territories. The project was led by Dr. Patrick Bixler, from the University of Texas with support from the Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NWB LCC) and the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI). The goals of the study were to identify stakeholders and their roles in the conservation social network, characterize the relationships among partners, track changes in the network over time as the NWB LCC matured, identify ways to strengthen linkages between partners to implement the NWB LCC’s strategic plan, and catalyze discussion about landscape conservation performance metrics.

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EPA Rolls Out Proposed E15 Rule while New Research Shows Impacts of Renewable Fuel Stand on Land and Water Resources

While most Americans have adjusted to using E10 ethanol fuel blends in their cars, efforts are in play to grow the demand for ethanol by allowing higher blends (E15) to be used year-round. On March 12, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to make higher-ethanol fuel available year-round and proposed changes to renewable fuel credits under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) policy. This is the next step in the regulatory process and meeting the Administration’s expectations that the rulemaking can be completed by the time the summer driving season begins June 1. However, recent research sheds new light on the land-use change and environmental impacts from the increased use of ethanol following implementation of the RFS 10 years ago.

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Returning Elk to the Southeast: A 20-year Retrospective

Elk (Cervus elaphus), one of the largest members of the family Cervidae, was the most wide-ranging of the deer family, roaming throughout most of the continental United States. However, the colonization and westward expansion of Europeans brought with them unregulated market hunting and significant landscape-level habitat changes that resulted in the extirpation of elk from the East. Prior to restoration attempts, the last known native elk harvested in the eastern United States was likely taken in the late 1800s.

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Citizen Scientists Help Identify Bat Species Using Acoustic Detectors

One of the major research efforts for combating White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) in bats is to monitor bat populations, which includes identification by species. Monitoring bat populations of hibernating bats is challenging because of inaccessibility to all areas of the hibernacula and the potential of disturbance to bats during the counts. Furthermore, finding the hibernacula can be difficult. The summer maternity roosts can also be monitored, and possibly provide more accurate estimates of population trends due to the smaller concentrations of bats in the colonies. The summer roosts also offer data about female reproductive output. Like the winter hibernacula, data on summer roosts are lacking in many areas. Summer roosts offer an important conservation strategy for helping bats survive in areas affected by WNS – bats that can survive hibernation in WNS-infected hibernacula could be protected in their summer roosts and produce more off-spring that are possibly genetically suited for surviving WNS, like their parents.

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Cooperative Research Unit Corner

Wisconsin Unit's Research Supporting World-Class Muskellunge Fishing in Green Bay

The Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit (WICFRU) in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Fox River-Green Bay Natural Resources Trustee Council, local angler groups, and professional guides are working to unravel some of the mysteries associated with muskellunge spawning success. The project goal is to provide resource agencies with specific recommendations for future habitat projects that have the greatest potential to increase natural reproduction of muskellunge.

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