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REGION 8:Project Leaders Tackle the Changing Face of Conservation
California-Nevada Offices , June 23, 2008
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Region 8 Deputy Regional Director Ken McDermond (left)thanks agency and NGO partners for their important work with the Service in California. Approximately 30 partners attended the field trip and barbecue at Elkhorn Slough. (credit: Scott Flaherty/USFWS)
Region 8 Deputy Regional Director Ken McDermond (left)thanks agency and NGO partners for their important work with the Service in California. Approximately 30 partners attended the field trip and barbecue at Elkhorn Slough. (credit: Scott Flaherty/USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a
Julie Packard receives the Regional Director's Conservation Service Award to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Pictured (from left): Service Director Dale Hall, Julie Packard, Deputy Regional Director Ken McDermond and Regional Director Steve Thompson. (credit: Scott Flaherty/USFWS)
Julie Packard receives the Regional Director's Conservation Service Award to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Pictured (from left): Service Director Dale Hall, Julie Packard, Deputy Regional Director Ken McDermond and Regional Director Steve Thompson. (credit: Scott Flaherty/USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Scott Flaherty, External Affairs

The Changing Face of Conservation: Climate, People, Approach was theme of this year’s Region 8 All Project Leaders Meeting, June 23-27, 2008 in Monterey, Calif.  Project leaders, their deputies, conservation program leaders and other subject matter experts gathered at the Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey for five days of presentations, discussions and training on issues ranging from climate change to communicating with the news media.

 

Keynote speakers included Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dale Hall, who discussed the challenges facing the Service in an era of climate change, as well as upcoming changes in Service leadership and transitioning to a new Administration.  Director Hall also presented his coveted Fish and Wildlife Service belt buckles to Tom Kisanuki of the Red Bluff FWO and Marc Weitzel, project leader at Hopper Mountain NWRC.  Dale also recognized John Engbring, Assistant Regional Director for Water and Fisheries Resources, for his 30 years of federal service.  Dale then joined Regional Director Steve Thompson and Deputy Ken McDermond for a discussion of Service mission, vision, conservation Principles and Priorities.

 

Project leaders Jim Smith, Kim Webb, Eric Nelson, Mike Long and Bob Williams served as daily moderators, helping guide the discussion and assisting presenters who provided information and updates on species recovery, internal and cross program partnerships, working with external partners (California Rangeland Conservation Coalition) children and nature, telecommuting, Region 8 Initiative areas, Central Valley Salmon Collapse, Water Acquisition Successes and Challenges and invasive species issues.

 

Conservation strategies in an era of climate change was the subject of several guest presentations: “Climate Change & the National Wildlife Refuge System” by J. Michael Scott, research scientist, U.S. Geological Survey; “Managing Ecosystems During Rapid Change: Adaptive Conservation Strategies,” by Elllie M. Cohen, executive director, PRBO Conservation Science and John Wiens, chief conservation science officer, PRBO Conservation Science; and “The Atmosphere and the Public Trust,” by Mary Wood, University of Oregon School of Law.  

 

Marilyn Brower of the Service’s Environmental Compliance Branch in Washington presented FWS actions to reduce its carbon footprint.  She later joined Director Hall in presenting 2008 FWS Environmental Leadership "Refuge of the Year" Award for the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge to Mendel Stewart, project leader at the San Francisco Bay Refuge Complex.

 

Strategic Habitat Conservation presentations included “Strategic Habitat Conservation: In Concept and In Practice” by Charles Baxter, senior advisor, SHC; and Strategic Habitat Conservation: Klamath Update by Mike Long, who also discussed the Klamath draft SHC Concept Plan.

 

Leaders also took time to recognize employees and partners during the first annual Regional Directors Award Ceremony at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Regional Director Steve Thompson, Director Dale Hall and Deputy Regional Director Ken McDermond presented the Region’s Conservation Service Award to Julie Packard for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a Service partner in southern sea otter conservation and recovery.  Ten individual regional director awards were also presented.  Attendees later celebrated Service partners in the Monterey Bay region during a half-day walking tour and barbecue at Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Presentations and walking tours were provided by members of the Reserve, Elkhorn Slough Foundation and California Department of Fish and Game and exposed project leaders to restoration activities on the 1,400 acre preserve as well as its public education, research and conservation efforts.

 

Region 8 External Affairs presentation, “Communications for Project Leaders” was followed up by a training session in which project leaders were able to practice techniques that will assist them in communicating to the public via the news media. External Affairs also recognized noteworthy communications efforts by project leaders and field offices by presenting regional communicator awards.

 

The complete meeting agenda, photos and copies of presentations given during the week-long meeting are available to Service employees on the web at: https://intranet.fws.gov/region8 .

 

 

 


Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov



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