Southwest Region
Conserving the Nature of America
Southwest Region USFWS facebook page Southwest Region USFWS page Southwest region USFWS Flikr page USFWS YouTube site
Amy and the RDT Visit Texas
Front row from left: Scott Carleton, Migratory Birds; Amy Lueders, Regional Director; Cliff Schleusner, WSFR; Jeff Fleming, Deputy Regional Director. Back row: Aaron Archibeque, Refuges; Stewart Jacks, Fish and Aquatic Conservation; Pete Fasbender, Ecological Services; James Broska, Science Apps. Credit: Mary Elder, USFWS.
Front row from left: Scott Carleton, Migratory Birds; Amy Lueders, Regional Director; Cliff Schleusner, WSFR; Jeff Fleming, Deputy Regional Director. Back row: Aaron Archibeque, Refuges; Stewart Jacks, Fish and Aquatic Conservation; Pete Fasbender, Ecological Services; James Broska, Science Apps. Credit: Mary Elder, USFWS.

July 2019
Regional Director Amy Lueders and members of the R2 Regional Directorate Team visited Austin, Texas, to host an All Employee Meeting and to meet with our state partner, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.  The evening of July 22 they gathered below the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin to observe a remarkable natural phenomenon, when between 750,000 and 1.5 million bats fly out near dusk in search of food. According to austintexas.org, the bridge shelters the largest urban bat colony in North America.

 

FWS Leadership Visit

Left image: Margaret Everson (left) and Amy Lueders respond to an employee question about tribal consultations during the June 4th All Employee Meeting in the RO. Credit: Miguel Cordova, USFWS. Right image: Margaret Everson (left) and Barbara Wainman from FWS Headquarters hold Mexican wolf pups at Sevilleta NWR in N.M. Credit: Brady McGee, USFWS.
Left image: Margaret Everson (left) and Amy Lueders respond to an employee question about tribal consultations during the June 4th All Employee Meeting in the RO. Credit: Miguel Cordova, USFWS. Right image: Margaret Everson (left) and Barbara Wainman from FWS Headquarters hold Mexican wolf pups at Sevilleta NWR in N.M. Credit: Brady McGee, USFWS.

June 2019
Amy, Jeff and the Regional Directorate Team were pleased to welcome FWS Principal Deputy Director Margaret Everson and Assistant Director for External Affairs Barbara Wainman to the Southwest Region. A busy two days of activities included an early morning trip to Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge to assist the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program in conducting veterinary exams for seven-week-old wolf pups, followed by lunch with RDT members and an afternoon visit to Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge.

On Tuesday, June 4, an All Employee Meeting at the Regional Office included a conversation with the Principle Deputy Director. Southwest Regional staff participated in person and by phone and asked Margaret a series of questions on topics ranging from energy development to the Secretary’s Unified Region Reorganization effort. Margaret indicated she appreciated the direct exchange, asserting, “Federal employees are entitled to have open and honest conversations and we will always do that.”


2019 Recovery Champion Awards

Regional Director Amy Lueders presents Cynthia Dale and her team the Recovery Champion Award at the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society national conference. Credit: Vanessa Burge, USFWS.
Regional Director Amy Lueders presents Cynthia Dale and her team the Recovery Champion Award at the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society national conference. Credit: Vanessa Burge, USFWS.

May 2019
Southwest Region Congratulates 2018 Recovery Champions

Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Endangered Species Recovery Champion Award honors employees, but also our partners-in-mission, for conserving threatened and endangered species listed under the Endangered Species Act. The award is given to an organization whose work results in milestones in the Recovery Program. Amy was honored to present the 2018 Recovery Champion Award to the staff of the White Mountain Apache Tribe’s Sensitive Species and Mexican Wolf Program. On behalf of the Fish and Wildlife Service, she congratulated the staff members of the Tribe’s Sensitive Species and Mexican Wolf Program: Cynthia Dale, Sara Eno, Deon Hinton, Joseph Perez, Theo Guy, and Manuelita Kessay.

The White Mountain Apache Tribe has been an instrumental partner in the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program by supporting the establishment of a sustainable population of Mexican gray wolves on the Reservation. The staff’s commitment to the conservation of the Mexican wolf has been an inspiration and model for the Service’s Tribal partners in conservation throughout the southwest. The White Mountain Apache Tribe’s work on wolf recovery is emblematic of countless partnerships between tribal, federal and state fish and wildlife management entities nationwide.

Learn more about Recovery Champions 

 

RDT Members Engage Arizona Colleagues

RD Amy Lueders (2nd from left) visits with Matt Grabau (left), Jeff Humphrey (center), Cliff Schleusner (right), and Jessica Gwinn (foreground), during the All Employee Meeting in Phoenix. Credit: USFWS.
RD Amy Lueders (2nd from left) visits with Matt Grabau (left), Jeff Humphrey (center), Cliff Schleusner (right), and Jessica Gwinn (foreground), during the All Employee Meeting in Phoenix. Credit: USFWS.

May 2019
Last week, R2 Regional Director Amy Lueders and members of the Regional Directorate Team met with Arizona-based employees at the state game and fish department office in Phoenix.

Following an interactive presentation on leveraging the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) to improve our workplace, Amy and RDT members (Deputy Regional Director Jeff Fleming, Refuges Chief Aaron Archibeque, Migratory Birds Chief Scott Carleton, Assistant Regional Director-External Affairs Mary Elder, Assistant Regional Director-Fish and Aquatic Conservation Stewart Jacks, and Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Chief Cliff Schleusner) responded to questions from assembled personnel. Employees asked about a number of issues, such as the status of the Secretary's unified regions initiative, the upcoming biologists' training workshop, enterprise cost sharing, and prioritizing workload.

The following day, Amy and RDT members, including Acting Assistant Regional Director-Ecological Services Seth Willey, returned to Arizona Game and Fish headquarters to coordinate with state agency counterparts. The Recovery Challenge Fund, cormorants and free-swimming fish, sportfish stocking procedures, identifying shared science needs, and the FWS National Listing Work Plan were among wide-ranging agenda topics. Arizona Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office Project Leader Jess Newton and AZ ES Field Supervisor Jeff Humphrey also attended.

The next R2 All Employee Meetings are slated for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on May 29 and Austin, Texas, on July 24.


Spring Hill Visits

Amy Lueders, Southwest Regional Director, USFWS, visits Representative Gosar on the Hill. Credit: Lesli Gray, USFWS.
Amy Lueders, Southwest Regional Director, USFWS, visits Representative Gosar on the Hill. Credit: Lesli Gray, USFWS.

May 2019
Last week, Southwest Regional Director Amy Lueders visited 10 congressional offices in Washington, D.C., to brief members/staffs from Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas on issues of importance to the Southwest Region. Here, Amy is shown with Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona's 4th Congressional District, which includes Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery and Havasu, Bill Williams, Kofa, Cibola and Imperial National Wildlife Refuges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operation Border Surge

Amy Lueders, Southwest Regional Director, USFWS, visits the Texas border. Credit: USFWS.
Amy Lueders, Southwest Regional Director, USFWS, visits the Texas border. Credit: USFWS.

April 2019

Walking a Mile in their Shoes. Southwest Regional Director Amy Lueders visits FWS law enforcement officers supporting Operation Border Surge on the U.S.-Mexico border. Amy noted that although she has been involved with border-related issues for years, seeing operations there through the eyes of law enforcement personnel afforded her a new perspective on their challenging work. R2 Chief of Refuges Aaron Archibeque and R2 Chief of Refuge Law Enforcement (not pictured) joined Amy for the multi-day trip.  Credit: USFWS.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Cherokee Nation Makes History with Lands to Protect an Endangered Species

The Cherokee Nation made history by working alongside the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the first tribal nation to designate an area of land to protect an endangered species of beetle.

Through an executive order signed by Chief Baker Wednesday morning, the tribe designated a portion of the Cherokee Nation owned 800-acre park, located on Sallisaw Creek in Sequoyah County, as an American Burying Beetle Conservation and Mitigation Area for the next 10 years.

Chief Bill John BaKer and Southwest Regional Director, Amy Lueders exchange items during the designation of lands for the American burying beetle. Credit: USFWS.
Chief Bill John BaKer and Southwest Regional Director, Amy Lueders exchange items during the designation of lands for the American burying beetle. Credit: USFWS.

Chief Bill John Baker and Southwest Regional Direcor, Amy Lueders join other members of the Cherokee Nation after the designation of lands for the American burying beetle. Credit: USFWS.
Chief Bill John Baker and Southwest Regional Direcor, Amy Lueders join other members of the Cherokee Nation after the designation of lands for the American burying beetle. Credit: USFWS.

The American Burying Beetle once lived in as many as 35 states and is considered invaluable to the ecosystem for its role in returning nutrients to the soil. The beetle was placed on the federal Endangered Species List in 1989.

As part of the day's festivities, Chief Baker presented U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Southwest Regional Director Amy Lueders with a traditional honor blanket and she in-turn presented him with a shadowbox featuring two preserved American Burying Beetles.

 

Matt Butler Honored with Rachel Carson Award

Amy Lueders and Matt Butler at the Rachel Carson Awards. Credit: USFWS.
Amy Lueders and Matt Butler at the Rachel Carson Awards. Credit: USFWS.

Greetings Southwest Region,

Matt Butler with a Lesser prairie chicken. Credit: USFWS.
Matt Butler with a Lesser prairie chicken. Credit: USFWS.

I am honored to share with you that our own Matthew Butler, Biometrician, Division of Biological Sciences, Refuges, has been awarded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Rachel Carson Award for Exemplary Scientific Accomplishment, 2017. Matt was presented the award on March 29 at the 2018 North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Norfolk, Virginia. The Rachel Carson Award recognizes scientific excellence through the rigorous practice of science applied to a conservation problem that achieves extraordinary results in fish and wildlife conservation.

Matt has done phenomenal scientific work on behalf of whooping cranes and lesser prairie-chickens and I am proud that he has been recognized for his efforts. Please read more (link to: https://www.fws.gov/science/awards-rcaward-2017.html) about Matt’s outstanding work and its impact on these imperiled species. Congratulations Matt!

~ Amy Lueders ~

Read more of Matt’s work:

Influences on whooping crane recruitment
( https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ece3.2892 )

Impacts of winter drought on whooping crane population growth
( https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320714003115 )

Forecasting whooping crane population growth
( https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320713000980 )

Land surface phenology predicts lesser prairie-chicken abundance
( https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425717303048 )

Spatially explicit modeling of lesser prairie‐chicken lek density
( https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jwmg.646 )


 

Honoring Our Veterans
Every year we set aside one day to honor those who have served in the U.S. Military and express our gratitude to the men and women who have made great sacrifices to preserve our freedom. Few have given more to our nation than our military Veterans, both in peace and in war.

We take special pride in those Veterans who work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The men and women who have served in the armed forces exemplify a commitment to serving this nation. They continue their service to the American people by bringing their skills, knowledge, experiences and dedication to our conservation mission.

The Region's appreciation to, and admiration for, our Veterans, and the many other members of our Service family, goes out to those who continue to serve in the National Guard and Reserves. We owe them a debt of gratitude for all that they have done– and continue to do – to conserve our nation’s treasured natural resources.

To honor our colleagues who have served in the military, we have posted photographs of many members of our Region 2 family who are Veterans. Take a moment to look at images of military Veterans working for the Service nationwide at our Flickr site.

 
Amy Lueders
RD's Corner
The ability to look beyond our own jobs and our own programs and make a broader contribution. In essence, it means modeling our behavior to function as
“One Service
and One Region”
 
About Our Leadership
 

Highlight Series
The Southwest Region highlights each of its programs as a means to introduce the extraordinary activities that the Region's staff bring to the diverse habitats, species and conservation efforts within its boundaries.

Read Highlight Series Archives

 

Current Student Opportunities in Region 2

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) employs many students in various career and educational fields. The Student employment program Pathways is a way to attract talented students to work with the Service and it's an opportunity for students to continue their education and apply their academic studies to on-the-job experience. Visit our Youth and Student Opportunity page for more information.

 
Last updated: July 31, 2019