Sample Insert

251 FW 1
Originating Office
Division of Budget and Performance

Importance of Advanced Weather Information to the FWS

1. Safety. The Service uses light aircraft for many of its inventory operations, such as determining spring wetland conditions over the prairie pothole country and conducting summer waterfowl brood counts to assess population indices for supplying population level trend information for use in regulation formulation for fall hunting seasons. Good advanced weather information is essential to the safety of personnel involved in the work.

Much of the work on refuges is conducted in remote locations. For the safety of the employees engaged in the conduct of the work, advanced weather information is essential for proper decisions about when to deploy personnel to these locations.

2. Habitat Manipulation. Habitat manipulations are keys to many of the wildlife conservation efforts undertaken on Service lands. Especially critical are habitat enhancement efforts, such as special vegetation plantings to improve endangered species habitats. It is important to have advanced weather information to predict the appropriate timing for optimal success of these operations and to obtain maximum value for resources expended.

Refuge management requires advanced weather condition information for appropriate conduct of necessary farming operations. Water level control on refuges is necessary to optimize periods of wetland utilization for various wildlife and fish species. To be successful in optimizing refuge water levels, it is imperative that good advanced weather information be available.

3. Endangered Species Protection. Severe weather can be devastating to populations of endangered species that are particularly limited in habitat extent or vulnerability. There are various methods that can be used to protect limited habitat areas when weather warnings are available. An example was the protection of an endangered tree snail in South Florida. The entire population of this endangered species was in the predicted path of hurricane Andrew. Because of available weather warnings, the entire population of this species was taken into safe quarters prior to the hurricane's impact to the area. Advanced weather warning prevented the loss of this species.

4. General. At least 90 percent of the field efforts of the Service require advance weather information for success and employee safety.