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NMESFO leads effort to conduct workshops on the ESA for biologists in the Southwest01/28/2005
Southwest Region, January 28, 2005
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New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office (NMESFO) staff led an interagency effort to conduct workshops on the Endangered Species Act for biologists in the Southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from January 24 through 28, 2005. The Southwest Endangered Species Act Team of the Southwest Strategy collaborated with the National Conservation Training Center in West Virginia to prepare and update teaching materials for the course. The training cadre consisted of staff from the NMESFO, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Navy from the Department of Defense (DOD), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation). The Regional Director of Region 2, Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and the Regional Forester from the Southwest Region welcomed participants and conveyed the importance of the workshops for assisting with Endangered Species Act consultations. Logistical support for the workshops was provided by staff from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Arizona Ecological Services Office. A total of 70 biologists completed the workshops, representing the Service, several Native American Tribes, BIA, BLM, Reclamation, the Corps of Engineers, NRCS, and DOD. Participants were from the States of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Utah, California, and Nevada. Toward the end of the workshops, the interagency training and logistic cadres presented the NMESFO staff member with a Certificate of Appreciation for leading this effort for the Southwest Strategy.

Course evaluations demonstrated that the workshops were very highly rated and that the participants would recommend them to colleagues. To help fill requests for this course, additional Biological Assessment Workshops will need to be conducted in the future in Arizona and New Mexico, and interest in holding these workshops in other States has also been expressed.

The Southwest Strategy is a community development and natural resources conservation and management effort by Federal, State, Tribal and local governments. Through this effort, the partners work in collaboration with each other and the public to restore and maintain the cultural, economic and environmental quality of life in the States of Arizona and New Mexico. Southwest Strategy Mission Statement: Southwest Strategy will facilitate collaborative, scientifically-based approaches to enhance community vitality and resolve resource conservation and management issues in the Southwest.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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