U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Pacific Southwest RegionCalifornia, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Pacific Southwest Highlights

The Klamath Tribal Youth Program was established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide hands-on natural resource education to local tribal youth. Since then, more than 75 percent of its participants have pursued college degrees. Credit: USFWS

Making dreams come true: Klamath Tribal Youth Program turns dreams into reality

Growing up on the Yurok Reservation in northern California, Jaycee Owsley dreamed of becoming a marine biologist.

However unrealistic her goal might have been, an opportunity in high school completely changed her future. Owsley was accepted into the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Klamath Basin Tribal Youth Program.

Just five weeks into her studies, she knew exactly how to make her dream come true.

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Wildlife biologist Lindsey Troutman supports conservation of endangered species. Credit: Veronica Davison/USFWS.

We Conserve! But We Don't Do It Alone

With a history that can be traced back to the late 1800s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the nation's premier government agency responsible for wildlife and plant species conservation. Although the name and organization changed over time, the core purpose of the agency has remained constant: conservation. The Service works closely with a variety of partners to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants—as well as their habitats—for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Earth Day is an important reminder that no individual government agency, organization, or person can do it alone. Partnership is central to progress and partners from all sectors are making a difference..

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Biologist Chad Mellison, from the Reno Fish and Wildlife Office, deploys a tracking antenna in Indian Creek on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in south central Nevada, using the same electronic tracking methods used in fish monitoring to observe the Columbia spotted frog. Credit: Jim Harvey/U.S. Forest Service

TAGGED: Nevada biologists use miniature fish technology to track Columbia spotted frogs

As most people know, catching frogs isn’t easy. Tracking and counting imperiled Columbia spotted frogs in their Nevada habitat usually requires a lot of patience. Volunteers devote a few days every year to hunt for this amphibian, painstakingly slogging through muddy creeks deep in the rugged outback of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in the name of science

But for the last few years, biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and the Nevada Department of Wildlife have complimented that delicate, by-hand monitoring process by adopting the same electronic tracking methods used in fish monitoring.

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Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest Winner

A seventeen-year-old student from Ranch Palos Verdes, Calif., won best of show in the California level Junior Dusck Stamp art contest held Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge in Willows, Calif. Credit: Byrhonda Lyons/USFWS

Junior Duck Stamp: The king eider wears the crown

On the crisp morning of March 30, 2017, 10 judges gathered for the 27th Annual California Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge in Willows, Calif.

“The Junior Duck Stamp Program is a great way to see what young students in the area have learned about waterfowl biology and wildlife conservation from our staff members,” said Lora Haller, visitor services manager at the refuge. “Great anatomical features, detailed feathers, color and habitats are all incorporated in their artwork. It’s really exciting to see children learn from our programs.”

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Graphic: Jon Myatt/USFWS

Celebrating the Service's women of science

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin, recognizes the inspiring journeys and contributions of Service #Women In Science.

There are women in every capacity working the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Biologists, hydrologists, law enforcement, economists, forensic specialists, firefighters... the Service has an amazing diversity of women making history in science and wildlife conservation.

In addition, visit our Flickr album to meet more of our women scientists.

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Red maids at Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. Credit: Joanna Gilkeson/USFWS

California's 2017 #Superbloom — A photo essay

The deserts of southern California erupted in an explosion of color during their annual inland display of wildflowers recently. A popular destination for tourists, locals, photographers and wildlife viewers, the area has experienced a surge in visitation since the blooming began. Joanna Gilkeson, of the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, joined the thousands of visitors in the desert and shared this photo essay.

“We documented this year’s super bloom because we believe in sharing the beauty of open space, providing refuge to our plants and wildlife,” she said.

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Public affairs specialist Byrhonda Lyons and outreach specialist Laura Mahoney put together this video showing the spawning process at Coleman National Fish Hatchery in Anderson, Calif. Watch it here. Credit: Steve Martarano/USFWS

Steelhead, Chinook salmon spawning at Coleman National Fish Hatchery in Northern Calif.

When it’s spawning season at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery in Anderson, Calif., all hands are on deck. From October to March, hatchery employees spawn Steelhead and Chinook salmon twice a week.

The hatchery hosts an annual Salmon Festival on the third Saturday of October to show visitor how spawning works. However, since October is months away, here’s a behind-the-scenes video of spawning at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery. -- Byrhonda Lyons

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IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Tracking the Eastern Sierra Monarch

IN HER OWN WORDS: Service biologist Rachel Williams describes her work recording the locations of Eastern Sierra monarchs and their milkweed food sources. Credit: USFWS

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Tracking the Eastern Sierra Monarch

Like ducks and caribou, monarch butterflies migrate with the changing seasons. As the weather cools and plants begin to go dormant in the fall, monarchs fly to warmer areas to overwinter.

As a biologist in a remote part of California nestled between the Sierra Nevada Mountain range and the Great Basin desert, I have been working with other scientists and volunteers to try to learn more about the migration patterns of western monarchs.

Last summer, with the help of volunteers citizen scientists, we began recording locations of Eastern Sierra monarchs and their milkweed food sources.

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Roy Averill-Murray never thought his future would revolve around saving desert tortoises, but he has become the Service's top desert tortoise biologist.
Credit: Cecil Schwalbe

Service biologist creating an 'era of better research'

As someone who grew up fond of snakes, Roy Averill-Murray never thought his future would revolve around saving desert tortoises. Yet his 26 published journal articles, primarily focused on desert tortoise conservation only skim the surface of his efforts to keep these modern dinosaurs thriving in the wild.

He was the first person to document the reproduction of that species and with several papers published; he’s now working on an analysis that highlights the differences between Sonoran Desert tortoise and Mojave Desert tortoise reproduction.

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