Dan Ashe served as FWS Director from June 2011 until January 2017. The following is an archive of blogs authored by Director Ashe during that time. This content is intended for historical reference only and not as a representation of current Service policy or opinion.
Last Sunday, I was on the road again. Leaving my snow-covered yard behind and flying out to the Great Plains of Pierre, South Dakota.
I've been to South Dakota before, but the purpose of the trip was a first for me. Before Sunday, I'd only heard about the near-Herculean efforts to protect the black-footed ferret. Now, I can say that I've had the privilege to participate in the reintroduction of this remarkable species.
It wasn't too long ago that the black-footed ferret was on the brink of extinction. Now, people are beginning to use the "R-word" -- recovery. Some are even suggesting that delisting is within reach. This will require a continued commitment and effort, of course, but it's great to see a species come so far.
I was joined at the reintroduction by our ferret recovery coordinator Pete Gober, the South Dakota Endangered Species Project Leader Scott Larson, Wyoming Game and Fish deputy Director John Emmerich, and several tribal partners from the Lower Brule Reservation.