Newsroom
Midwest Region

 

Meeting Conservation Challenges Head On

Director Ashe Addresses Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Visits with Michigan Field Staff

June 26, 2014

Director Dan Ashe takes a look at a Kirtland’s warbler nest. The endangered bird nests only on the ground near the lower branches of young jack pines. Photo by Jack Dingledine/USFWS.
Director Dan Ashe takes a look at a Kirtland’s warbler nest. The endangered bird nests only on the ground near the lower branches of young jack pines. Photo by Jack Dingledine/USFWS.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe traveled to northern Michigan to address members of the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in Traverse City this week. In his remarks, Director Ashe discussed the challenges facing fish and wildlife managers today: including climate change, prairie conservation, wildlife trafficking and invasive Asian carp. He stressed the Service’s priorities for identifying surrogate species and institutionalizing Strategic Habitat Conservation in meeting our conservation mission. The Director emphasized that challenges can no longer be met by doing business as usual, and collaboration is the key to success. He also complimented the Midwest State Directors and their staff and Fish and Wildlife Service staff in the Midwest Region for their great working relationship.

Following the conference, Director Ashe headed south through Kirtland’s warbler territory to get a look at the recovery work underway. Northern lower Michigan and a few places in Wisconsin and Ontario are the only places in the world where the endangered bird nests. Dependent on jack pine forests and susceptible to cow bird parasitism, only 170 pairs of Kirtland’s warblers survived in northern lower Michigan in 1971. Thanks to protections of the Endangered Species Act and dedicated efforts of federal, state and local agencies and conservation groups, nesting pair numbers in Michigan and Wisconsin topped 2,000 in 2012.

Director Ashe also visited with staff at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge to learn more about how managers and biologists are proactively meeting challenges head on in the field.

See more photos of Kirtland’s warblers, listen to a podcast and find out about the successful effort to save them from extinction at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/birds/Kirtland/index.html

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe met this week during the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies meeting. Photo courtesy of David Kenyon/Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe met this week during the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies meeting. Photo courtesy of David Kenyon/Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

Connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/usfwsmidwest, follow our tweets at twitter.com/usfwsmidwest, watch our YouTube Channel at youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest.

Last updated: June 26, 2014