In the coming months, the Southwest Region will highlight each of its programs as a means to introduce the extraordinary activities that the Region's staff bring to the diverse habitats, species and conservation efforts within its boundaries. The next in the series is Migratory Birds. Read Highlight Series Archives
|Colby Wyatt, Administrative Officer at Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge
Honoring Our Veterans
Every year we set aside one day to honor those who have served in the U.S. Military and express our gratitude to the men and women who have made great sacrifices to preserve our freedom. Few have given more to our nation than our military Veterans, both in peace and in war. This is why we observe Veterans’ Day.
We take special pride in those Veterans who work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The men and women who have served in the armed forces exemplify a commitment to serving this nation. They continue their service to the American people by bringing their skills, knowledge, experiences and dedication to our conservation mission.
I would also like to express my personal appreciation to, and admiration for, our Veterans, and the many other members of our Service family, who continue to serve in the National Guard and Reserves. We owe them a debt of gratitude for all that they have done– and continue to do – to conserve our nation’s treasured natural resources.
|Tiffany Rollins, Grants Fiscal Specialist for the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program
To honor our colleagues who have served in the military, we once again have posted photographs of many members of our Region 2 family who are Veterans. I encourage you to take a moment to look at images of military Veterans working for the Service nationwide at our Flickr site.
Veterans’ Day is a time to reflect on the principles of freedom and democracy. We honor and recognize the men and women who have served the United States through their military service. All we can say is a whole-hearted and deeply felt, “Thank you for your service!”
|Dr. Benjamin Tuggle speaks at the Eagle Aviary Workshop. Photo credit: Joe Early, USFWS.
Native American Eagle Aviary Workshop
In its continued effort to strengthen tribal trust relations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Southwest Region Migratory Bird Permit Office held the Region’s first Native
American Eagle Aviary Workshop (workshop). On August 19 and 20, 2014, the Southwest Regional Office hosted over thirty workshop participants including tribal officials, wildlife
managers, biologists and Service personnel. Aviary managers from the Pueblo of Zuni, Pueblo of Jemez, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, Citizen Potawatomi Nation
of Oklahoma, Navajo Nation and San Carlos Apache Tribe gave updates and presentations on their activities. Group discussions took place regarding statutes and regulations, proposed
procedural changes to permitting, placement of live eagles, disaster planning, tribal wildlife grants, and a question and answer session with the Office of Law Enforcement. “Supporting
these eagle aviaries is a labor of love for us in the Southwest,” said Benjamin Tuggle, the Service’s Southwest Regional Director. “The tribes are our neighbors, and honoring their
traditions and beliefs is extremely important to us. To me, the aviaries represent an amazing example of a true conservation partnership.”
Gulf Coast Joint Venture: A Bird Habitat Conservation Partnership (Migratory Birds)
Presentation by Barry Wilson, GCJV Coordinator, 2014, Southwest Region All Employee Meeting
|Habitat conservation important to priority bird species within the joint venture region. Credit: USFWS.
Barry Wilson describes the origin and current role of Migratory Bird Joint Ventures (JVs) nationwide, with an emphasis on the Gulf Coast Joint Venture and a distinction between the Service's JV Program and multi-organizational JV Partnerships. Details of the GCJV partnership are , including the management board composition, JV staffing, administrative funding, and partnership organization. The GCJV's landscape-level approach to bird habitat planning and assessment requires taking a birds-eye view of habitats without regard to administrative boundaries or landownership, but considering the role of individual organizations and land tracts in fulfillment of landscape-scale objectives. Toward that end, the GCJV employs satellite imagery and
spatial landcover data, in combination with detailed information from public lands in a Managed Lands Geodatabase. Details of biological planning, conservation design, habitat delivery, outcome-based monitoring, and assumption-based research for shorebirds is provided as an example of GCJV-led Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC) for birds.
Learn more about the Migratory Bird Program.
Advancing Environmental Education and Youth Employment in the Middle Rio Grande -
The Start of a Beautiful Partnership for Local Youth
Youth involvement in the natural world through both education as well as employment opportunities has long been a priority area for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service). Here in the Southwest Region, our Regional Director Dr. Benjamin Tuggle has always had a passion for creating meaningful conservation experiences for local youth, especially in urban areas where many young people have become increasingly cut off from nature and wild spaces.