Not one, but two, Northeast Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees were honored by the agency last week for advancing conservation of migratory fish through science.
Dr. William (Bill) Ardren, a senior fish biologist in Essex Junction, Vermont, received the Rachel Carson Award for Exemplary Scientific Accomplishment. Dr. Brett Towler, a hydraulic engineer in the Northeast regional office in Hadley, Massachusetts, received the Sam D. Hamilton Award for Transformational Conservation Science.
For decades, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Colorado Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (COFWCO) has partnered with the Department of Defense to embed biologists, foresters, etc. on installations to manage natural resources within the parameters of mission support. As part of this partnership, COFWCO staff bring a unique perspective to protection and management of federally listed species and migratory birds, and are able to facilitate relative communications between the installations and Service regulators.
COFWCO maintains an agreement with Colorado State University through the Cooperative Ecosystem Units program. This agreement also allows the COFWCO to partner with the Center for Environmental Management on Military Lands (CEMML) and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. Through this relationship, CEMML undertook the feasibility study on the placement of Conservation Law Enforcement Officers on multiple Air Force installations along the Front Range. CEMML also worked with Buckley Air Force Base to establish a wildlife exclusion fence around their airfield, and with the Air Force Academy to fence off aspen regeneration plots and manage stream restoration projects.
At the annual meeting in March 2019, the COFWCO received the Natural Resources Conservation Communication, Conservation Partnership award from the National Military Fish and Wildlife Association. This award is intended to recognize those who develop fruitful partnerships benefiting natural resource conservation on military installations in support of the military mission.
Described as one of the most colorful fish in the state, West Virginia's native candy darter is in danger of extinction.
The candy darter, identifiable by vertical blue-green bars bordered in red, was listed in November as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported nearly half of the populations documented since 1932 have disappeared.
But thanks to a partnerships between the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery, the species might have a fighting chance.