Pacific Southwest RegionCalifornia, Nevada and Klamath Basin
As numbers of Lahontan cutthroat trout dwindled, their position as top predator in Lake Tahoe was backfilled by stocked nonnative sportfish such as lake trout, rainbow trout and kokanee salmon, and was eventually listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1970.
Credit: Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS
Fighting bird crime one feather at a time
As a forensic ornithologist for the last 20 years, Dr. Pepper Trail has been successful at solving hundreds of crimes involving birds from around the world.
Credit: Susan Sawyer / USFWS
With National Hunting and Fishing Day right around the corner, we bring you some national wildlife refuges we think are the perfect place to start your hunting season.
Credit: Gary R. Zahm / USFWS
Creating a legacy for South Sacramento
The South Sacramento County Habitat Conservation Plan is 317,000 acres in size – about 10 times the size of the city of San Francisco – and supports community growth while conserving agricultural lands and open spaces.
Credit: Jake Sisco / USFWS
It was 'do or die'
All of the time, money and energy Mike and Patricia McCoy invested in saving the Tijuana Estuary rested on this one meeting. For $7.6 million, the 606 acres was at the time, the most expensive dollar per acre refuge acquisition in the history of the refuge system.
Credit: Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS
8 Hidden Gems
Explore and find solitude at these National Wildlife Refuges in California, Nevada & Klamath Basin. Shown here, a scenic photo of Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Oregon.
Credit: Doug Lester / USFWS
A rat's best friend
The connection between grazing, vegetation cover and abundance of kangaroo rats is clear — cattle grazing improves the species' survivability. At left, a Stephen’s kangaroo rat perches on biologist Dan Grout’s hand during a survey near Camp Pendleton, California.
Credit: Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS
Pacific Southwest Highlights
Jesse Travis, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service federal wildlife officer, inspects an old, duck blind Oct. 24, 2019, at Beale Air Force Base, California. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tristan D. Viglianco
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 9th CES partner to protect Beale’s natural resources
Beale is made up of more than 25,000 acres of grassland and riparian area, which allows for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation. The base is tasked with conserving and protecting by the Sikes Act which mandates military installations develop and implement Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans.
Part of this plan includes conservation law enforcement, so the base has recently partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to bring Jesse Travis, a FWS Federal Wildlife Officer, on the installation to enforce said laws.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service celebrates veterans
Veterans Day means freedom, sacrifice and honor for those who served in the military. Many U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees are military veterans, some of whom continue to serve in Reserve and National Guard units across the country. These people who once sacrificed for our country now use their skills in the cause of conservation. We thank each one of our veterans for their patriotism and willingness to serve our nation. Take a moment to visit the Veterans Day 2019 photo gallery honoring and celebrating our Service military veterans.
Moapa dace are found only in the Muddy River Springs area, composed of the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge streams, adjacent private estates and the Warm Springs Natural Area. Credit: USFWS
Double the Dace – This fish is in hot water, and likes it!
For 50 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has worked to save the endangered Moapa dace, a tiny olive-yellow colored fish found solely in Southern Nevada’s Moapa Valley. This listed fish species is special since it has no relatives around today and therefore represents a unique component of biodiversity.
Moapa dace are found only in the Muddy River Springs area, composed of the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge streams, adjacent private estates and the Warm Springs Natural Area - approximately 1,200 acres owned and operated by the Southern Nevada Water Authority. This species is restricted to the warm headwaters where springs emerge and only occur in water temperatures between 86 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Barnum Cave is the winter home, or hibernaculum of a small colony of Townsends big-eared bats, which prefer lava tube caves.
Credit: Ann Froschauer/USFWS
Going batty at Barnum Cave – Annual public tour provides up-front experience
It was a dark and stormy fall night in a pine-juniper forest of rural northern California. A group of 30 visitors had carefully made their way about 200 yards inside Barnum Cave, located off an unmarked dirt track halfway between the towns of Yreka and Weed.
“Everyone needs to lean on the wall or sit on a rock, then turn off your headlamps,” said Liz Wolff, a member of the Shasta Area Grotto of the National Speleological Society (those who specialize in the study of caves).
Today, former gang member turned conservationist Anthony Prieto mentors at-risk teens and teaches his three sons the importance of environmental stewardship and human rights.
Credit: Hazel Rodriguez/USFWS
Former gang member turned conservationist – Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing volunteer and hunter – Anthony Prieto
Anthony Prieto will never forget the first time he saw a California condor flying wild and free. The year was 1999 at Los Padres National Forest, located between central and Southern California, along the Sierra Madre Ridge. The former gang member set foot on the 1.75 million-acre forest as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service volunteer and never looked back.
“I dreamt about this moment all my life,” said Prieto, “and it brought tears to my eyes to finally see one. I thought about my grandpa, who died a month before. He really inspired me to get into conservation, and I knew he was looking down on me that day.”
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases Biological Opinion for the Long Term Operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project
In honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week, take this opportunity for a recreational experience you will never forget
Did you know, aside from foraging and literally surviving, that national wildlife refuge birds wear lots of hats? Our certified greeters will welcome you with open wings.
Dr. Anuja Parikh is a botanist, wife, sister, daughter and breast cancer survivor. She played an instrumental role in collecting key data to support land managers’ and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s work to recover the San Fernando Valley spineflower.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Nathan Gale
Breast cancer survivor, botanist beats the odds
“Field season is coming,” said Dr. Anuja Parikh. “You can’t just sit around during field season.” She put on her gel prosthesis underneath her field gear, and headed to the day’s survey site: the slopes of Grapevine Mesa in southern California. Her husband, Dr. Nathan Gale, hiked just ahead of her, bushwhacking through some of the heavier brush to protect his wife from the thorny branches.
“The prosthesis was filled with gel, and I didn’t want it to get poked by a shrub and have that stuff oozing out everywhere!” she said. It was the spring of 2000.
Parikh is a botanist, wife, sister, daughter and breast cancer survivor. She played an instrumental role in collecting key data to support land managers’ and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s work to recover the San Fernando Valley spineflower, a tiny buckwheat plant once believed to be extinct in Southern California.
After the construction of Derby Dam, water flowed towards Fallon, Nevada, the desert turned shades of green and communities expanded, but the shift in water management also took its toll on one of Nevada’s most prized native sportfish, the Lahontan cutthroat trout.
Photo courtesy of Greg Ritland
Back after more than a century – Fish screen to allow iconic Lahontan cutthroat trout to complete natural migration route for first time in over 100 years
In 1905, the same year Albert Einstein introduced E=mc2 to the world, a newly formed U.S. Reclamation Service (now Bureau of Reclamation) unveiled its first large-scale water infrastructure project in Nevada. Commissioned by President Theodore Roosevelt, the Derby Dam was constructed to divert water for irrigation from the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake.
With the dam in place, water flowed towards Fallon, Nevada. The desert turned shades of green and communities expanded, but the shift in water management also took its toll on one of Nevada’s most prized native sportfish, the Lahontan cutthroat trout.
Marsh-in campers tour the restored wetlands on the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Refuge’s Summer Camp now a community tradition
“Thank you for providing an opportunity for our kids to participate in something meaningful this summer, and giving us access to something fun and educational that we likely would not have been able to do financially had there been a fee.”
That’s what a parent had to say about their child’s participation in the 2019 Marsh-In Summer Camp on the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso, California. Every year the Refuge’s Environmental Education Center hosts this unique and cost-free opportunity for local kids to experience nature among wildlife and wetland habitat, in the middle of a densely populated urban area.
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"In a competitive job market, you soon find that it’s a sizeable challenge to find a permanent job. For me, that’s where the Directorate Resource Assistants Fellowship Program came into play," says doctoral candidate Andrew Dennhardt. Credit: USFWS
An intern's story – A Resource Assistants Fellow shares how program boosts budding biologists' careers and brings 'experiences of a lifetime'
On one of my first days as an intern, I heard the call of a male least Bell’s vireo. He was barely visible to the naked eye amidst dense and dark foliage along the Santa Clara River. His call reminded me of why I came here to Ventura, California in the summer of 2019: to help conserve the eloquence of his inimitable song for generations to come.
I arrived at the Ventura U.S. Fish and Wildlife Office in late May, charged with working alongside biologists to study and synthesize historic information on the conservation and management of this rare migratory songbird along one of Southern California’s last remaining natural riverways. With the Ventura team, I produced a management and monitoring plan for the vireo in the Santa Clara River, highlighting future recovery and the means to that end.
Service employees inspire others with a Sense of Wonder'
Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife biologist Akimi King has won the 2019 Pacific Southwest Region's Sense of Wonder Award. King was recognized for her long-term work with the Connecting People with Nature initiative, her high quality environmental education programming, and her efforts to educate local communities throughout the Klamath Basin about pollinators, especially monarch butterfly conservation.
The Sense of Wonder Recognition Program recognizes a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee who has designed, implemented or shown visionary leadership in an interpretive or environmental education program that fosters a sense of wonder and enhances public stewardship of our wildlife heritage.
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Find a Refuge or Hatchery
The Western Monarch
The Monarch Story...
The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable species of wildlife in all of America. They undertake one of the world's most remarkable and fascinating migrations, traveling thousands of miles over many generations from Mexico, across the United States, to Canada. Learn about their amazing journey and how you can help them.
California Condor Website
California Condor Recovery Program
The California Condor Recovery Program (Recovery Program) is a multi-entity effort, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to recover the endangered California condor. Cooperators include the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Game and Fish Department, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, San Diego Zoo Los Angeles Zoo, Oregon Zoo, Santa Barbara Zoo, Chapultepec Zoo, Peregrine Fund, and Ventana Wildlife Society, among others. Learn more here...
And see the condor nest cameras here!
FieldNotes showcases the activities, events and conservation work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including here in the Pacific Southwest Region. The articles inside are written by our employees and reflect the efforts of the Service and our partners in conserving and preserving the unique natural resources across the nation. You can find stories specific to California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin. After you've visited FieldNotes, follow us on these social media channels...