Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program (formerly Federal Assistance Division) Staff Participation at Workshops/Training
Southwest Region, September 30, 2007
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The week of October 16, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hosted the WSFR program Coordinators’ Meeting for Region 2.  Both National and Regional WSFR staff, as well as staff from each State in Region 2, was in attendance.  Topics covered included Grant Program guidance and administration, State Wildlife Grants, and other program issues.

WSFR staff, as well as the Federal Aid Coordinators of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, paneled a presentation on Competitive Grants and the Granting Process at the Regional Land Trust Alliance Conference in Austin, Texas.

WSFR staff participated in a Federal Aid Information Management System (FAIMS) User Acceptance Team conference call in which we discussed ways of improving the entry of species information into the Project Information and Accomplishment modules in FAIMS, to facilitate the retrieval of species information for non-traditional grant programs such as the State Wildlife Grant, Landowner Incentive Program grants, and Endangered Species Section 6 grants.  A recommendation for adoption of a new standardized species database to replace or enhance the existing FAIMS species coding system was developed and forwarded to the FAIMS Team for consideration. 

WSFR staff participated in two Project Leaders’ Courses presented by WSFR staff from NCTC.  The two classes covered general WSFR grant administration with supplemental materials specific to the Oklahoma Wildlife and Fisheries project staffs.  About 60 Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation representatives attended the two sessions. 

WSFR staff completed a site visit to Norman, Oklahoma, to monitor two grants and several projects, and a site visit to South Padre Island, Texas, to monitor the Texas Clipper Artificial Reef grant and provide information to the public about said grant.

WSFR staff representatives attended the WSFR Financial Specialists Meeting, held April 9-15 in Sonoma, California.  Topics discussed were national issues that relate to fiscal processes and accountability that affect regional grant administration.  Fiscal and/or audit specialists from each of the regions and the Washington Office attended the meeting.

Staff participated in the 2007 FAIMS Contingency Plan Disaster Recovery Test.  The test scenario was that the FAIMS site in Denver suffered a total loss due to a structural fire, with restoration of system operations at the alternate processing site in Arlington.  Participating staff were asked to login to the alternate site and perform various grant management functions to test the capabilities of the alternate site in handling fiscal, grant management, and lands module operations.  The results were reported to the FAIMS System Owner, Chief, Branch of FAIMS in Arlington.

The Advanced Grant Management Workshop was held in Albuquerque on August 7-9.  Approximately 25 State and Federal representatives attended the workshop hosted by the Region 2 WSFR program.  The training session was developed specifically to address regional grant administration issues and presented in cooperation with NCTC-based staff from the WSFR Program.  

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov
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