The ability to look beyond
our own jobs and our
own programs and make
a broader contribution.
In essence, it means
modeling our behavior
to function as “One Service
and One Region”
A member of the team and contributor to the pilot's success was Jake Nuttell. Here Jake provides direction at a prescribed burn on the San Andres National Wildlife Refuge. Photo credit: USFWS.
R2 Lead a Pilot Effort on this Spatial Fire Management Planning (SFMP) Dr. Benjamin Tuggle Comments on this Pilot Effort
May 2013 "I'm proud to share that through outstanding collaboration and leadership Region 2's New Mexico Spatial Fire Management Planning Team took on a pilot project and successfully completed the first spatial fire management plan (SFMP) within the Service. This is the first of it kind in the U.S. and will be an important tool for all federal fire management agencies. This revolutionary broader-scale planning approach provides an efficient means to visually convey complex information, making it easier to use and applicable to land management decisions. This team has lead the way in developing this innovative planning tool, that in the future will reduce planning costs and enrich the usefulness of our planning efforts, by providing greater flexibility across programs to enhance management of natural resources for Strategic Habitat Conservation."
Conserving Water Through Partnerships Law of the Rio Grande Conference,
April 25-26, 2013
April 2013 Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southwest Regional Director addressed an audience about the importance of water and water conservation, our leadership in fish and wildlife conservation; our scientific excellence; our stewardship of lands and natural resources. During his presentation he stated that water is among our most precious natural resources; this is even more dramatically apparent here in the Southwest. Below is the slideshow of that presentation and the accompanying script.
Dr. Benjamin Tuggle Recognizes the Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge with the Service’s Southwest Region Friends Award
The Friends of Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge (Friends), a Texas-based non-profit
organization, received the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southwest Region Friends Award. Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director for the Southwest Region, presented the Friends with the award due to their significant contributions to environmental education and outreach benefiting the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).
Dr. Benjamin Tuggle congratulates the Friends of Hagerman NWR on their award. Credit: USFWS.
Tuggle said, “At a time when partnerships are paramount, organizations like the Friends of Hagerman NWR are one of the most important allies in the National Wildlife Refuge System’s wildlife conservation effort.”
Mexican Wolf Recovery Takes a Leap Forward With Increased Population Numbers
February 2013 The 2012 Mexican wolf population count produced some very encouraging numbers, a minimum of 75 Mexican wolves living in the wild, up from 58 in 2011. This demonstrates that our emphasis recently on pup survival is paying off with 20 wild born pups surviving until at least December, also up slightly from 2011. This total represents around a 30% increase from the previous count.
“The 2012 count of 75 wolves is very exciting. This past year we have implemented a number of management actions – in collaboration with our partners and stakeholders – that have helped reduce conflicts related to recovering a sustainable population of wolves on a working landscape,” said Benjamin Tuggle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southwest Regional Director. “Our strategy for 2013 will be to increase the genetic viability of the wild population, and implement management activities that support more wolves in the wild. Releases are one of the important tools we use for improving the genetic viability of the wild population.”
Tracking the wolf. Photo credit: USFWS.
Moving forward, Dr. Tuggle noted that it is important to remember that we are working to establish a genetically sound wolf population. It’s natural that all of us, including the Service, sometimes get swept up in the story of individual wolves, such as the male 1133 that was recently returned to captivity to mate with another Mexican wolf in preparation for release in the spring. While our management efforts may involve activities that affect an individual wolf or pack, our focus must be larger than that if we are to succeed in our Mexican wolf reintroduction goals.
Tuggle emphasized that the Service’s partners in Mexican wolf recovery – the Arizona Game and Fish Department, White Mountain Apache Tribe, USDA Forest Service and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Wildlife Services, and several participating counties have worked in coordination to decrease wolf- livestock interactions. In addition, the Mexican Wolf/ Livestock Interdiction Stakeholder Council has been able to provide compensation to livestock producers to offset the costs of wolf depredations.
Frehkey, sniffs out salamanders. Photo credit: Mark L.Watson.
Rescued Dogs Come to the Aid of Rare Lizard in NM In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy
Leaping lizards! An unlikely duo is helping to save a proposed endangered salamander with their
amazing tracking skills. Former shelter dogs, once considered to be hard to adopt because of
their high energy and urge to hunt, are
Salamander on burnt log. Photo credit: David Solis.
now putting their skills to work in an effort to save the
rare Jemez salamanders.
"This is a great example of what can be accomplished when we work with our partners," says Dr. Tuggle, Regional Director for the Southwest Region. "Please read about this latest effort that gives abandoned dogs a chance to use their innate skills and aids us in our monitoring efforts."
Jeremy Reichl works as an Engineering Equipement Operator at Balcones NWR. Photo credit: USFWS.
Introduction by Dr. Tuggle, Southwest Regional Director, on the Wounded Warrior Project
In the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Southwest Region, we have partnered with Wounded Warrior Project to provide internships to any member of the military cleared to participate. These Wounded Warriors serve our country with honor and distinction, and now it is our privilege to host them in our offices and field stations as they gain work experience that will enable them to re-enter the workforce.
Our Region has already seen the success of this program over the past two years. Wounded Warriors are gaining experience in a variety of disciplines within the Service. These individuals come to us with self-discipline, leadership skills, and a variety of other skills gained from their military service that fits well in our agency.
Once their internship experience concludes, the interns return to their units. With them they will take many unique experiences that they could only gain by working in our Region with our staff. They also gain a better understanding of the vast opportunities available to them. I believe conservation careers offer those that have served in the military another opportunity to continue to serve their country and make a difference every day.
It is my desire to continue to support the Wounded Warrior Project and to make these internship experiences as fulfilling as possible for the men and women who served in the military and participate in this program. This is our opportunity to say thank you for their selfless service to our country. It is an honor to have them in our ranks. Please read their stories and get to know them as we work together to preserve our natural resources.
Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Southwest Regional Director, USFWS, addresses the crowd at the establishment of the Rio Mora NWR in the Southwest Region. Photo credit: Jill Goldstein, USFWS.
AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS: Dr. Benjamin Tuggle Celebrates At Rio Mora NWR
"This is an important celebration for New Mexicans and a special announcement - the formal establishment of the Southwest’s first urban national wildlife refuge and New Mexico’s 9th national wildlife refuge," said Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, the Southwest Regional Director for the USFWS.
"Protection of these lands will help support the recovery and protection of threatened and endangered species such as the southwestern willow flycatcher and the Mexican spotted owl, and conserve rare species such as the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, Gunnison’s prairie dog, and the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse, all candidate species considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act."
Dr. Benjamin Tuggle celebrates partnerships in conservation with the announcement of two new national wildlife refuges, the Valle de Oro and the Rio Mora:
For decades, Native Americans have used various natural resources and wildlife for subsistence, as well as for cultural and religious purposes. Today, feathers remain one of the most sought after items by tribal cultural and religious practitioners. However acquisition of needed feathers by Tribal members is challenging.
To assist in the legal acquisition of federally regulated migratory bird feathers, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) established the National Eagle Repository in Denver, Colorado. This repository serves as a legal source of eagles and eagle feathers for qualified, federally-enrolled tribal members for use in religious ceremonies. For more information on the Service’s National Eagle Repository, visit: http://www.fws.gov/le/national-eagle-repository.html
However, due in part to extensive backlog of requests, sometimes resulting in a four-year wait for feathers, the Southwest Region began working with tribes to establish tribal managed eagle aviaries that allow for the retention and distribution of naturally molted eagle feathers.
Through these efforts and commitments of our Tribal partners, we are helping better meet the needs
of Tribal members and improving management of mutually valued species. To date, the Southwest Region is the only Region in the Service to have permitted aviaries, as well as a pilot non-eagle feather repository program.
It is an honor to play a small part in the successes of our partners. Together, we have a remarkable story to tell. This will be done through a series of articles. Each month we will highlight one of our partners to showcase their individual successes.
Our first feature will be on the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, a fitting tribute as while they are not the first to house a tribal-operated aviary, they are the first to establish an aviary through the Service’s Tribal Wildlife Grant program. Our next feature will be on the Pueblo of Zuni, the first Tribe to receive a permit enabling them to establish an Aviary in the Southwest.
Release of first rehabilitated eagle. Credit: Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma
Click HERE to read the story about the first TWG Funded aviary in the United States.
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Eagle Aviary Honors Regional Director
Vic Roubidoux and Regional Director, Dr. Benjamin Tuggle; Joe Early
On September 5, 2012, Mr. Victor Roubidoux, Wildlife Manager of the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma’s Grey Snow Eagle House, recognized U.S. Fish & Wildlife Regional Director, Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, for his support of eagle aviaries. The Iowa Tribe was awarded two Tribal Wildlife Grants (TWGs), for the construction, and later for the expansion of a safe haven for eagles. “With the TWG, the Service planted the seed, but the Iowa Tribe nurtured the project and helped it flourish. We provided the technical expertise, and they keep it going,” explains Dr. Tuggle. The aviary focuses on the rescue and rehabilitation of eagles. To date eight eagles have been rehabilitated and returned to the
Beadwork on cedar and red pipestone pipe; Photo credit: USFWS, Joe Early
wild. The aviary and benefits the spiritual and cultural needs of tribal members, who have access to naturally molted feathers. As a gesture of the tribe’s gratitude, Mr. Roubidoux presented Dr. Tuggle with a hand-crafted pipe, made from red pipestone.
Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director of the Southwest Region, USFWS, and Director Dan Ashe, Director of the USFWS, attend the Southwest Region's all employee meeting. Credit: USFWS.
Director Ashe meets with Staff during his visit to New Mexico It was a pleasure to welcome Director Dan Ashe to our Regional Office. He is in New Mexico to present Ted Turner with a Recovery Champion Award for the continued support from the Turner Endangered Species Fund on behalf of endangered and threatened species. While here, the Director made it a point to visit with our employees in the Regional Office. He also had a chance to tour the lands for our first urban National Wildlife Refuge.
Current Student Opportunities in Region 2
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) employs many students in various career and educational fields. The Student employment program is a way to attract talented students to work with the Service and it's an opportunity for students to continue their education and apply their academic studies to on-the-job experience. Visit our Student Opportunity page for current student positions.