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Conservation News

On the Ground: The Oregon Conservation Strategy at Work

Oregon Conservation Strategy Implementation Grants Application

April 2007

Contents

Spring has quickened the step of Oregon's wildlife conservation community. Habitat restorations are at work in the field before the snow has even melted in the higher elevations. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife grant recipients are lacing up their boots to get to work while other groups sharpen their pencils to apply for Conservation Strategy Implementation grants. And in Oregon’spring skies, the peregrine falcon soars, released this month from the state's endangered species list—are minder to all of us of the power of a shared cause.

Apply Now: Strategy Implementation Grants

Applications for Conservation Strategy Implementation grants will be accepted from May 1 to June15, 2007. Private non-profit organizations,educational institutions,and state and local agencies may apply .Approximately $400,000is available—individual grants will be awarded in amounts between $10,000and $50,000. Application deadline is June15, 2007.

Conservation Strategy Implementation grants are funded by the federal State Wildlife Grants(SWG) program.

application materials

For more information on the application process, contact:

Peg Boulay,503-947-6316, peg.c.boulay@state.or.us
Audrey Hatch, 503-947-6320, audrey.c.hatch@state.or.us
Jim Gores, 503-947-6308, james.k.gores@state.or.us

State Delists Peregrine Falcon

On April 13, 2007 ,the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission removed the American and Arctic peregrine falcons from the state's Threatened and Endangered Species list. The stroke of that pen validated years of work by volunteers, wildlife professionals and conservation organizations.

“The recovery of the falcon is due to the efforts of so many that I hesitate to mention individuals. Suffice it to say, there are many unsung heroes in this effort,” said Charlie Bruce, ODFW threatened and endangered species coordinator.

Among those who contributed are the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group who worked with ODFW for many years on feeding training for young falcons and augmentation of nests that were found to be failing. The Peregrine Fund provided many birds for release.For over a decade, the Portland Audubon Society monitored and protected urban nests. Biologist sand staff members from USFS*, BLM, USFWS, USGS, Oregon Eagle Foundation, ODFW, Portland Metro, ODOT and more surveyed, tracked, funded and protected the species.

The story of the peregrine species in Oregon is a compelling one.In 1980, decimated by the pesticide DDT, there was only one known—and failing—American peregrine falcon nest site in Oregon. By the end of the 2006 field season, nesting sites were documented at u to 131 areas with good reproduction rates: 1.54 young per occupied nest site over the past five years.

Delisting, however, does not mean unregulated. Peregrine falcons are still protected by other state and federal laws. ODFW will implement an enhanced statewide monitoring program during each of the remaining federal sampling years―2009,2012 and 2015―and continue to work with land managers and private landowners to monitor known sites and locate new nesting areas.

For more information on the species, visit the Peregrine Fund website and the Portland Audubon Society website

For information on the petition to desistance and Arctic peregrine falcons

And the Winners Are …

Last week, Peg Boulay,ODFW conservation strategy coordinator,tore open virtual award envelopes and announced the names of ODFW employees who had won Conservation strategy Implementation grants. Thirteen grants were awarded including those to Susan Barnes and Jean McCrae.

Susan Barnes, wildlife diversity biologist,will use her grant to test methods of capturing and removing invasive snapping turtles from the Willamette ecoregion. “Snapping turtles are known to have a negative impact on native species,” said Susan. “They are voracious eaters, consuming ducklings, fish and, possibly, native turtles.They may also compete with our native turtles for food and introduce disease.”

Susan is partnering with Tualatin Valley Park and Recreation Biologist Kyle Spinks and several interested individuals to build custom traps and investigate their effectiveness. They plan to document ideal habitat and weather characteristics for trapping snapping turtles.

Snapping turtles

Willamette ecoregion (pdf)

 With her grant, Shellfish Biologist Jean McCrae plans to convert years of handwritten data on shellfish—crabs, clams, urchins, abalone and shrimp—into a computer database and record survey data into a geographic information system(GIS) system. “To ensure our future surveys are meaningful, we need to compile the baseline data,” said Jean, who has been with the department 33 years. “Estuaries are so important to the health of the marine system; we just don’t know enough about them.”

Estuaries are a strategy habitat of the Oregon Near shore Strategy. ODFW Marine Resources website

Other ODFW grant holders and their projects will be covered in future newsletters.

OHA and Partners Create Habitat for Bears and Birds

Joe Ricker, Oregon Hunter Association Capitol Chapter representative, reports OHA members and partners are gearing up for a May 5 habitat restoration and improvement effort in the Detroit Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest.The project, started to provide winter forage for game and nongame species has expanded to the point where only lots of equipment, tons of fertilizer and hundreds of volunteer hours can realize the vision.

 “We are creating meadows critical to the health of native species: what’s good for elk, deer, bear and cougar is good for owls, raptors, bluebirds and bats,” said Joe. “Everyone involved in the project is committed to wildlife conservation. We try to screen the meadows with trees to provide security for the animals that feed in them. Working with the Forest Service, we have installed barriers to deter vehicle access to important habitat.” 

On May 4, Joe will be at the Fox Creek campground with an advance crew led by Jeff Ritter, project manager, and Rick Breckel, Willamette National Forest wildlife biologist, staging fertilizer and materials. “Good work for an old soldier,” he says. One of the first readers of Oregon’s Conservation Strategy, Joe firmly believes it will take an army of volunteers to see it successfully implemented.  

The restoration area runs from the Detroit Dam about 12 miles along the power lines. Additional meadows are being created and maintained near Marion Forks Fish Hatchery. Partners include Bonneville Power Administration, USFS, Mid-Valley Crawlers 4 Wheel Drive Club, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, SOLV, ODFW, OHA and other individuals.For more information, contact Jeff Ritter,OHA Capitol Chapter, 503-363-6329.

For information on OHA
For information on the Willamette National Forest

All State Conservation Plans Approved

In February 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved state wildlife action plans for the final nine states—all 56 states and territories now have an approved plan in place, marking the final phase of an important step in conservation history. Each state plan contains information on low and declining populations of wildlife, their habitats and the conservation actions required to prevent them from becoming endangered. Individually, the plans establish a set of conservation actions for each state—together they represent a blueprint for national conservation.

The Oregon Conservation Strategy was approved in February 2006. State Wildlife Action Plans

Share the Road

Anew resource guide on wildlife crossing structures and approaches is available on the Internet. The guide, Safe Passage: A Users Guide to Developing Effective Highway Crossings for Carnivores and Other Wildlife, focuses on the technical aspects of creating wildlife structures.It was developed by a coalition of engineers, biologists and conservationists in the Western U.S.and Canada.

Melinda Trask of The Oregon Wildlife Movement Strategy interagency working group is pleased to see the guide so accessible. “This is a great tool for Oregonians interested in protecting wildlife and reducing animal-vehicle collisions.We are recommending it as an interim guide for our agency.”

Oregon's Wildlife Movement Strategy team, led by ODOT and ODFW, has about 12 members.Team goals include improving existing conditions suitable for natural movement of game and nongame animals across the landscape; improving safety for the traveling public; and providing a venue for interagency collaboration on wildlife movement issues. If you are interested in learning more about the group, contact Audrey Hatch, ODFW Conservation Strategy monitoring coordinator, audrey.c.hatch@state.or.us or Melinda Trask, ODOT environmental program manager, melinda.trask@odot.or.us

For a copy of the guide

Trees for Profit and Preservation

Tree farmers Ken and Karin Faulk were chosen by The Wildlife Society to receive its prestigious Landowner Stewardship Award. It was presented to the couple at the group's April meeting in Pendleton. The annual award goes to individuals who demonstrate ongoing, positive wildlife conservation actions in conjunction with their commercial operation.

“Economic gain and habitat conservation are not mutually exclusive,” explains Ken. "In some areas, we concentrate on Douglas-fir production. In others, we work to provide quality habitat for a wider range of wildlife species.”

The Faulks have completed restoration on 5 acres of oak woodlands and are working on a 3-acre upland prairie enhancement .Their work will benefit declining species like the western gray squirrel, slender-billed nuthatch, Lewis' woodpecker, western bluebird, wayside aster and many others. Ken served on the stakeholder advisory committee that helped develop the Oregon Conservation Strategy. Oregon Chapter of the Wildlife Society

Teaming Coalition Lobbies for Funding

On February 28, the Teaming with Wildlife Coalition met in Washington, DC to plan their efforts for the year ahead and to work on increased funding in the federal 2008 budget. Martin Nugent, ODFW wildlife diversity manager, and Todd Crawford, Association of Northwest Steelheaders president, represented Oregon.They met with Oregon's Congressional delegation to update them on Strategy progress and ask for support in identifying more funding for wildlife conservation.

Overall, the Teaming with Wildlife coalition is hopeful that new legislation for long-term stable wildlife conservation funding is likely. Currently, the Coalition is working to help state agencies receive funding through several recently-introduced climate change bills.

“It was an excellent opportunity to meet with conservationists from around the country and to share ideas,” said Martin. “One of the highlights was the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation breakfast briefing in the Senate. It’s a great reminder of how many groups are involved in wildlife conservation efforts.” Teaming with Wildlife

Send Us News About Your Strategy-related Projects

Peg Boulay, Conservation Strategy coordinator
Meg Kenagy, editor and Conservation Strategy media coordinator

Contact Information
503-947-6021
meg.b.kenagy@state.or.us
Oregon Conservation Strategy
http://www.dfw.state.or.us/conservationstrategy/

 

*To keep articles short, we have used acronyms for the following organizations:U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), USFWS (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

To unsubscribe, please respond by e-mail.Note: The use of trade, firm, or corporation names and links in this publication is for the information of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife


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