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CMFO Biologist Guest Lecturer on Endangered Species Consultation for Corps of Engineers Planning Associates Training
Midwest Region, August 5, 2011
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Jane Ledwin, biologist with the Columbia Missouri Ecological Services Field Office, represented the Fish and Wildlife Service as a guest instructor for the environmental module of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Annual Planning Associates Training in Portland, Oregon, this August. The Corps’ PA program is an advanced training opportunity in water resources planning whose goal is to broaden planners' competencies in solving complex water resource challenges. The course covers all aspects of the Corps’ water resource development programs. This was the fifth year Ms. Ledwin has joined Corps instructors and provided instruction and perspective regarding our agencies’ shared responsibilities for federally listed species.

Ms Ledwin provided a primer on the Endangered Species Act, with special attention on the intent of the Act, and the federal responsibilities under Sections 7(a)(1) and 7(a)(2). She emphasized the importance of early and frequent communication to take advantage of conservation opportunities and management flexibility during the initial stages of project development. She also underscored the Congressional intent of a well-reasoned, credible federal approach to conservation of federally listed species, rather than an adversarial approach between agencies. In her presentation, Ms. Ledwin emphasized that success depends on collaborative problem-solving and bringing everyone's ingenuity and expertise to these often complex and controversial projects. She also tried to impress on the students that now is a time of great change in water development projects planning. Existing guidance is being revisited and updated, federal agencies are being tasked to incorporate climate change in future projects, and existing projects are nearing the end of their anticipated project life. These planners have the opportunity to greatly influence the future direction of the Corps’ water resource development projects and programs, and should consider carefully the legacy they hope to leave. As always, Ms. Ledwin was impressed with the Corps' planning program, the students and the staff, and hopes to continue this exciting partnership in the future.

Contact Info: Jane Ledwin, (573) 234-2132 Ext. 109, jane_ledwin@fws.gov



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