Recognizing the fundamental value of diversity of thought and culture to achieve our mission of endangered species recovery, our Ventura leadership team is guided by the following vision:
A Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office that is relevant to and reflects the racial and cultural diversity of the communities in which we serve, while supporting the intersectionality of our people so they feel valued, inspired, and that they belong.
Our office engaged in inclusivity and racial bias learning sessions as a foundation to champion a workplace that celebrates the individuality and diversity of our people.
We welcomed our second Kendra Chan Conservation Fellow to carry on a legacy that champions diversity in conservation and funded more internships than ever before for budding scientists through the Hispanic Access Foundation and Directorate Fellowship Programs.
We also hired our first fully bilingual public affairs specialist to support outreach initiatives in our local community.
In addition to our important diversity work, we celebrated multiple Endangered Species Act successes from the delisting of the San Benito evening primrose to the downlisting of the Morro shoulderband snail.
Under a directive from Congress, we assessed the feasibility of reintroducing sea otters, a keystone species, to Northern California and Oregon. While the assessment indicates that reintroduction is feasible, input from key stakeholders and ocean users will be critical in informing next steps.
We finalized a conservation plan to support conservation and recovery of California tiger salamanders, California red-legged frogs, and Lompoc yerba santa, as part of activities at oil and gas facilities in Santa Barbara County. Under the conservation plan, permit applicants will be required to meet or exceed a high bar to demonstrate conservation actions for protected species.
And, we worked side-by-side with nurseries, students, and communities to keep the magic of monarch butterflies alive along the central California coast.
This year, we also honored a local scientist for her lifelong career dedicated to island plant conservation, and, we welcomed a new generation of interns, fellows, biologists and botanists to our team.