Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
CNO-Hosted Conservation Symposium Provides Exchange of Ideas on Species, Habitat and People.
California-Nevada Offices , June 27, 2006
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In conjunction with the Society for Conservation Biology’s 20th Annual Meeting, Conservation without Borders, the CNO office hosted its first annual Conservation Symposium in San Jose.


The symposium was an opportunity for program leaders, project leaders, and others to exchange ideas and share successes. “Our finest resource is our people,” said CNO Manager Steve Thompson in his welcome. “It is important for us to come together to talk about what works and what doesn’t. Sharing our knowledge, especially as it relates to species, habitat, people and partnerships, accelerates and improves conservation on the ground.”


Attended by more than 100 employees, the symposium featured 17 conservation stories from California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin. A special presentation was made by Deputy Director Marshall Jones, during which he complimented presenters on their conservation achievements and spent time answering questions.


Responding to questions about the future of the agency and how to continue the Service’s mission, Mr. Jones stated, “Each of us needs to think about who will continue our work, whether we are retiring, or simply taking a new position within or outside of the Service. Each of us needs to help recruit and retain employees committed to conservation.”


When asked to comment on the issue of advocacy versus science, a theme discussed during the Society for Conservation Biology’s meeting, Jones stated, “Our scientific credibility is the foundation of everything that is the Fish and Wildlife Service. It is our credibility that allows us to perform our mission, and if we lose it we lose everything.”


Speakers presenting at the symposium addressed a wide array of topics ranging from endangered species and water issues, to outreach efforts promoting the Service’s mission at public events.  Chosen from more than 45 submissions, the following presentation were included in the day’s agenda.


-         The California Condor: Historic Decline and Subsequent Recovery Efforts in California

-         Cui-ui Recovery: An Endangered Species Act Success Story

-         Public and Private Partnerships and their Role in the Recovery of the Riparian Brush Rabbit

-         Aleutian Cackling Goose Conservation Success and Current Challenges

-         Sacramento River Winter Chinook Salmon: Moving Towards Recovery

-         Santa Rosa Plain Conservation Strategy

-         Fish Disease Issues in the Lower Klamath River Basin

-         Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Planning as Conservation in Practice: A tool for preventing and managing invasive species across FWS programs.

-         A Conservation Approach for Restoring Wildflower Natural Diversity to Great Valley Grasslands

-         Clear Creek Restoration and Monitoring

-         Conserving California Central Valley Resources Through CALFED’s Ecosystem Restoration Program and the Role of FWS

-         Regional Habitat Conservation Planning: Lessons Learned from Southern California Plans

-         “Recovery Plans” for Rare Non-listed Species

-         Invasive Species Inventory and Monitoring with Volunteers on San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex

-         Local Community-based Watershed Restoration: The Upper Klamath Basin Experience

-         Integrating Wetlands into Commercial Crop Rotations in the Upper Klamath Basin of Northern California and Southern Oregon

-         Reaching Out to the Other 99.997% of Americans


After each presentation, time was allotted for questions and discussion. The exchange of ideas and information was the purpose of the event, and the purpose was realized. In his concluding remarks Mr. Thompson echoed the sentiments of many symposium participants. “It is difficult to take the time, but by sharing these stories we inspire each other. We learn how to work smarter, build trust with landowners, use partnerships and strengthen our science. It can’t help but make you proud.” CNO is planning to make the symposium an annual event.

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