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Elk Head CONSERVATION
Native fish, wildlife and their habitat
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Conservation News

On the Ground: The Oregon Conservation Strategy at Work

FEBRUARY 2007

While snow hovers still on our horizons, Oregon’s birds and amphibians herald spring. This month’s newsletter includes articles about migrating bald eagles and emerging frogs, expanded cooperation between groups concerned with conservation and the importance of individual contributions to the Strategy.

CONTENTS

Where Fish and Frogs Meet
Invasive Weeds in the West
Eagles on the Wing
Bruce Campbell Puts Pen to Paper for Wildlife
News from Teaming with Wildlife


WHERE FISH AND FROGS MEET

Tromping along stream beds and inventorying fish habitat can be wet work in winter, but ODFW aquatic inventory teams and Oregon Plan stream survey crews are used to it. They are out surveying aquatic habitat around the state for much of the year, collecting data that helps biologists, landowners, educators and agencies better understand what it will take to conserve or restore healthy salmon populations and watersheds.

This year, working with Conservation Strategy monitoring staff, several of the crews have added amphibian monitoring to their day’s work. According to Brian Bangs, ODFW biologist, “It only adds a few minutes per site to collect amphibian occurrence information, and it’s fun. After studying logs, stream channels and habitats all day, it’s great to turn over a couple of logs and find a salamander or red-legged frog.”

During a standard survey of 1,000 stream meters, crew members walk 30 yards into riparian areas, three times, to collect riparian information. During those trips they now search for amphibians.

“This is a great time of year to be doing this work because we find frogs, newts and salamanders when they are emerging and becoming active after the winter,” said Brian. “It’s also very important work; amphibian populations are declining around the world. In Oregon, we still have the opportunity to conserve them if we know more about their ranges and habitat requirements.”

So, while the frogs nd the fish may overwinter in different ways, the Oregon Plan and the Oregon Conservation Strategy are walking together to make a big difference by doing a small thing.

Contact Brian via email at Brian.Bangs@oregonstate.edu

Formore information:
TheOregon Plan forSalmon and Watersheds
http://www.oregon-plan.org/
Amphibiansand reptilesof Oregon
http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~titus/herp/herp.html


INVASIVE WEEDS IN THE WEST


“Other than pavement, nothing degrades wildlife and fish habitat more than invasive weeds,” said Vern Holm, partnership coordinator, Northwest Weed Management Partnership. The organization deals with invasive weed issues in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington. The 100 plus partners include state and federal agencies; city and county governments; watershed councils; soil and water conservation districts and others. We talked to Vern about the group.

WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR THIS TYPE OF NETWORK?

Experience shows that cooperative efforts result in more effective invasive weed control, more funding for weed control activities, and earlier detection and control of new invasives.

HAS THE CONSERVATION STRATEGY MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY YOU APPROACH OR PRIORITIZE PROJECTS?

We are actively working to incorporate the Strategy into our long-term vision. Our projects have always had habitat restoration in mind; however, now that we are more aware of the Strategy, we are increasingly relying on it for decision making. It provides land managers with a holistic picture of what we want the end product to be.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE THE MOST DAMAGING INVASIVEWEEDS IN YOUR AREA OF CONCERN?

The big three are garlic mustard, false brome and knotweed. They are poised to make Himalayan blackberry seem as harmless as dandelions. There are active working groups dedicated to establishing the best management techniques for each of these invaders.

 WHAT KEY PROJECT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?

We are involved in a multi-agency effort to eradicate invasive weeds along a BPA powerline corridor east of Eugene. Once the weeds are under control, the corridor will be planted with forage beneficial to winter ranging elk and other wildlife. We are also working in the Columbia Gorge and Washington County to control one of the newest and most threatening invasive weeds, garlic mustard. Contact Vern at 971-241-2173 or vholm@onlinemac.com<

For more information on the big three:

EAGLES ON THE WING

If you’ve never seen a bald eagle, this is a good time of year to take a drive and search the skies. It’s estimated there will be 2,000 to 3,000 of the majestic birds in Oregon this February and March as they migrate from inter to spring habitat. As far as permanent residents go, there are an estimated 500 nesting pairs in the state—up from a mere 57 pairs in 1978.

“Oregon probably has the best coordinated nesting season survey nd bald eagle data set in the country,” said Charlie Bruce, ODFW threatened and endangered species coordinator. “We are fortunate to have one of the country’s leading experts on bald eagles, Frank Isaacs of the USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit OSU, overseeing Oregon’s surveys. This will be the 30th consecutive year we have collected data.”

An Oregon State University news release issued earlier this month states that for the fifth year in a row, Oregon's bald eagle populations exceeded recovery goals. See the OSU website for the entire news release.

Visit the Oregon Zoo website for information on bald eagles and the Eagle Canyon Exhibit. http://www.oregonzoo.org/Cards/EagleCanyon/bald_eagle.htm

For ideas on where to see bald eagles, visit the Winter Wildlife Viewing section of ODFW’s website.

BRUCE CAMPBELL PUTS PEN TO PAPER FOR WILDLIFE

An accomplished writer, experienced ecologist and practiced restorationist, Bruce Campbell has put his skills to use to educate students, scientists and conservationists about the work of restoring wildlife populations. The result is included in the newly released book, Restoring the Pacific Northwest: The Art and Science of Ecological Restoration in Cascadia.

Working on his own time and eschewing any payment, Bruce, ODFW Landowner Incentive Program coordinator, researched and wrote the section of the book on Restoring Wildlife Populations. The chapter focuses on species that are being restored or are candidates for restoration.

Described by the publisher as an “essential handbook that brings together in a single volume a vast array of information on the science and practice of restoration …in he Pacific Northwest”, he book has already been selected as a textbook by Washington State University at Vancouver. The book was edited by Dean Apostol and Marcia Sinclair, both active and committed conservationists who provided input to the Strategy during development.

Why spend so much of his personal time on an unpaid project? “It does take a lot of time to present educational information properly but teaching is part of my avocation,” said Bruce. “What could be better than helping others in the work of conserving our wild places for future generations?” For more information or to purchase a copy of the book, visit Island Press.

NEWS FROM TEAMING WITH WILDLIFE

A news release issued on February 26 touting Teaming with Wildlife’s 5,000th member coincides with the group’s annual meeting being held in Washington, DC ebruary 27 through March 1. Meetings begin on Tuesday with a briefing and strategy session focused on leveraging the coalition’s strength into support for increased funding. Wednesday includes Hill visits anchored by a breakfast in the Senate and a reception in the House. Read the news release and learn more about the national meeting on the Teaming with Wildlife website.

 

SEND US YOUR NEWS
Peg Boulay, ODFW Conservation Strategy Coordinator
Meg Kenagy, Editor and ODFW Strategy Media Coordinator

CONTACT INFORMATION
Meg Kenagy
503-947-6021
meg.b.kenagy@state.or.us
Oregon Conservation Strategy

 

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