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Director's Corner

Meet Service Director Dan Ashe.

Some Amazing Conservation is Happening out West Despite Challenging Issues

I ventured down to Tucson, Arizona, for a few days recently for the winter meeting of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA).

Lee Metcalf NWR The landscape at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge in western Montana is just one type we manage with WAFWA. Credit: Bob Danley/USFWS

WAFWA represents U.S. states from Alaska and Hawaii to Texas and the Dakotas. Several Canadian provinces are also members. That’s almost 4 million square miles, home to more than 1,500 wildlife species.

WAFWA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked, side-by-side, on a number of conservation successes last year.


Headed to the Sooner State

Dan and OK Secretary of Environment Gary Sherrer at Woodward, Oklahoma meeting.

It's been a busy day and a half.

Over the last 36 hours, I travelled to both Woodward and Edmond, Oklahoma to participate in meetings hosted by Sen. Inhofe and Oklahoma Secretary of Environment Gary Sherrer focused on the lesser prairie-chicken. At least 3 other Oklahoma Cabinet Secretaries, private landowners and industry representatives spoke at the meetings.

It was encouraging to hear about the innovative lesser prairie-chicken conservation efforts currently underway. These efforts include those supported by the Great Plains LCC and the WGA to develop common population assessment methods, and hopefully, a common population objective among the five range states.

The partnership between our employees and the people and business leaders in Oklahoma was inspiring. This was especially true with our strong partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation