Invasive and Native Species Resources in San Luis Valley Region

 Invasive Species

   
Articles on Invasive Species
pdf Cheatgrass and Wildfire – A Dangerous Combination
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Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), also known as downy brome, is an annual plant native to Eurasia. This aggressive, invasive weed was originally introduced into North America through soils brought by oceangoing vessels and is now a dominant species in the Intermountain West.

pdf Routt County Weed Management Plan

Thirteen noxious weeds have been identified and placed on Routt County’s Noxious Weed List, all of which are included in this booklet.

pdf Best Management Practices to Prevent Noxious Weeds During Forest, Range and Residential Projects
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The following are best management practices for preventing noxious weed germination, establishment and spread for projects conducted in the field.

pdf Recommended Best Management Practices for Managing Noxious Weeds on Sites with Rare Plants
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This document provides natural resource professionals, land managers, and land use decision makers with guidelines and a set of questions to consider surrounding decisions related to noxious weed management in the vicinity of rare plants.

pdf Controlling Invasive Species
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It is often difficult for landowners to cultivate desirable plant species on their property. An even more frustrating task is keeping unwanted plants at bay.

pdf Hydrilla Verticellata

This is an Invasive Species Element Stewardship Abstract, prepared by The Nature Conservancy to assist their land stewards and other land managers in managing invasive species.

pdf Weed Management for Small Rural Acreages
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A CSU Extension Fact Sheet with information on prevention, eradication, and control of common weeds found in Colorado.

pdf ExFor The Exotic Forest Pest Information System for North America Participant’s Guidelines
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ExFor is an Internet-accessible database containing information on forest pests that can be used by workers worldwide. This document describes the guidelines to be followed by contributors to the ExFor database in evaluating exotic forest pests and in submitting background information to the database.

pdf How to Prevent the Spread of New Zealand Mudsnails through Field Gear
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This is a guide for field detection and for treating field gear to prevent the spread of New Zealand mudsnails. It is intended for researchers, monitoring crews, watershed survey groups, and anyone else who travels frequently between aquatic or riparian locations.

pdf Water Gardens and Introduced Species
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Constructing a water garden is a unique and enjoyable way to accent a property. There are many types of aquatic plants and animals commonly used in water gardens including water lettuce, cattails and koi.

pdf Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force Strategic Plan (2013 – 2017)
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Aquatic nuisance species (ANS) are nonindigenous species that threaten the diversity or abundance of native species, the ecological stability of infested waters, and/or any commercial, agricultural, aquacultural, or recreational activities dependent on such waters.

pdf Combating Invasive Species
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Policy Resolution 13-02: Western Governors support coordinated, prevention efforts of early detection and rapid response with multistate management and eradication actions to limit or eliminate introductions and improve control of invasive species expansion.

pdf Uniform Minimum Protocols and Standards for Watercraft Interception Programs for Dreissenid Mussels in the Western United States
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pdf Quagga-Zebra Mussel Action Plan for Western U.S. Waters
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iMapInvasives

iMapInvasives provides an on-line, GIS-based data management system to assist citizen scientists and natural resource managers working to protect natural resources from the threat of invasive species. Visit the iMapinvasives website 

Invasive Species Organizations & Professionals
There are 96 resources serving San Luis Valley Region in the following categories:
map itMap of Invasive Species Organizations & Professionals serving San Luis Valley Region
Biologists / Ecologists
Alan Carpenter, PhD
Land Stewardship Consulting, Inc. - Boulder, CO
Amanda Horvath
WSFR - Fish and Wildlife Branch - Fish & Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
Anna Schmidt
WSFR - Fish and Wildlife Branch - Fish & Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
Basin Wildlife Consulting
Rick Danvir - Casper, WY
Bob Hix
Pheasants Forever Inc. - Regional Field Representative - Aurora, CO
Chris Pague
The Nature Conservancy in Colorado - Senior Conservation Ecologist - Denver, CO
David McGillivary
Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program - Chief - Lakewood, CO
Dawn Reeder
Rare Earth Sciences, LLC - Principal Biologist - Paonia, CO
Eco-Asset Solutions & Innovations LLC
William Coleman - Co-Founder & CEO - Redwood City, CA
Ecoresource Solutions Inc
Tony Byrne - President/Principal Ecologist - Arvada, CO
Eddie Bennett
WSFR - Fish and Wildlife Branch - Fish & Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
Gillian Bee
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies - Stewardship Director - Fort Collins, CO
Greg Simons
Wildlife Consultants, Inc. - Wildlife Biologist - San Angelo, TX
Jacqueline Trout
WSFR - Lands Branch - Team Leader, Fish and Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
John Sanderson
The Nature Conservancy in Colorado - Director of Conservation Science - Boulder, CO
Jonathan Lowsky
Colorado Wildlife Science, LLC - Principal Ecologist - Basalt, CO
Judson Spicer
WSFR - Fish and Wildlife Branch - Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
Kit H. Buell
Buell Environmental LLC - Ecologist - Oak Creek, CO
Lisa Tasker
EM Ecological, LLC - Principal Ecologist - Aspen, CO
Matt Tobler
Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting, LLC - Natural Resource Specialist/Director - Fort Collins, CO
Otto Jose
WSFR - Fish and Wildlife Branch - Team Leader, Fish & Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
Roe Ecological Services, LLC
Chris and Kelly Roe - Logan, KS
Roger Wolfe
Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies - Lesser Prairie Chicken Program Manager - Topeka, KS
Ruben Cantu
Wildlife Consultants, Inc. - Certified Wildlife Biologist, Certified Professional Rangeland Management - San Angelo, TX
Seth Gallagher
Sage Grouse Initiative - Field Capacity and Delivery Coordinator - Fort Collins, CO
Stephen R. Wenger
- Glade Park, CO
Steve Boyle
BIO-Logic, Inc. - Principal & Senior Biologist - Montrose, CO
Tammy VerCauteren
Executive Director, Administration - Prairie Partners Program - Fort Collins, CO
Terri Schulz
The Nature Conservancy in Colorado - Director of Landscape Science and Management - Denver, CO
Tim Malloy
TG Malloy Consulting, LLC - Land Planner - Glenwood Springs, CO
West Elks Ecological Consulting
Dawn Barton - Owner, Founder of West Elks, and Principal Biologist - Carbondale, CO
WRS Infrastructure & Environment
- Tampa, FL
Federal And State Agency Landowner Specialists
Ecoresource Solutions Inc
Tony Byrne - President/Principal Ecologist - Arvada, CO
Riparian and Wetlands Specialists
3 Quarter Circle Land and Water Co.
Casey Kemp - President - Greenwood Village, CO
Barry Rhea
Rhea Environmental Consulting - Owner, primary consultant - Mancos, CO
Bishop-Brogden Associates, Inc.
Joy E. Barnett - Office Manager - Englewood, CO
Country Natural Beef
Wes Davies - Customer Service - Burns, OR
Dawn Reeder
Rare Earth Sciences, LLC - Principal Biologist - Paonia, CO
Ecoresource Solutions Inc
Tony Byrne - President/Principal Ecologist - Arvada, CO
ESCO Associates Inc.
David Buckner, PhD - Boulder, CO
James Armstrong
Rare Earth Science, LLC - Principal Geologist - Gunnison, CO
John Sanderson
The Nature Conservancy in Colorado - Director of Conservation Science - Boulder, CO
Jonathan E. Jones, P.E., D.WRE
CEO and President - Wright Water Engineers - Denver, CO
Kenneth R. Wright, P.E., D.WRE
Chief Financial Officer and Principal Engineer - Wright Water Engineers - Denver, CO
Marstel-Day, LLC
- Fredericksburg, VA
Mason, Bruce & Girard, Inc.
Michael Lester - Portland, OR
Matt Tobler
Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting, LLC - Natural Resource Specialist/Director - Fort Collins, CO
Riparian Restoration Connection
Julie Knudson - Tamarisk Coalition - Grand Junction, CO
Robert Veldman
K·Coe Conservation - Land Consultant - Loveland, CO
SME Environmental, Inc.
Sean Moore - Principal - Durango, CO
Society for Range Management
Jess Peterson - Executive Vice President - Littleton, CO
T. Andrew Earles, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, CPESC
Vice President of Water Resources - Wright Water Engineers - Denver, CO
Wayne F. Lorenz, P.E.
Chief Engineer - Wright Water Engineers - Denver, CO
Weed / Invasives Management Professionals
Barry Rhea
Rhea Environmental Consulting - Owner, primary consultant - Mancos, CO
Brianna Brannan
County Weed Supervisor - Rio Grande County Weed District - Monte Vista, CO
Center Conservation District
Brenda Anderson - District Manager - Center, CO
Center for Invasive Species Management
Liz Galli-Noble - Director - Bozeman, MT
Colorado Environmental Pesticide Education Program
Colorado State University - Fort Collins, CO
Colorado Weed Free Forage Program
Terry Gander - Program Assistant - Broomfield, CO
Colorado Weed Management Association
Laurie Montagne - Executive Director - Hotchkiss, CO
Country Natural Beef
Wes Davies - Customer Service - Burns, OR
Ecoresource Solutions Inc
Tony Byrne - President/Principal Ecologist - Arvada, CO
Janelle Kukuk
Administrator - Mineral County - Creede, CO
Jinger Tilden
Code Enforcement Officer - Land Use - Alamosa, CO
Joanne Grady
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Mountain-Prairie Region - Regional AIS Coordinator - Denver, CO
Lisa Taylor
Weedy Pie’s Vegetation Management - Owner - Eckert, CO
Lucas Casias
Noxious Weed Coordinator - Costilla County Road & Bridge - San Luis, CO
Myron Price
Supervisor - Conejos County Weed Control - La Jara, CO
Society for Range Management
Jess Peterson - Executive Vice President - Littleton, CO
Tamarisk Coalition
Stacy Beaugh - Executive Director - Grand Junction, CO
Western Aquatic Plant Management Society
Toni Pennington - Tetra Tech, Inc. - Portland, OR
WRS Infrastructure & Environment
- Tampa, FL
Wildlife / Habitat Specialists
Barry Rhea
Rhea Environmental Consulting - Owner, primary consultant - Mancos, CO
Basin Wildlife Consulting
Rick Danvir - Casper, WY
Conservation Science Partners - Colorado Headquarters
Brett Dickson, PhD - President & Chief Scientist - Fort Collins, CO
Dawn Reeder
Rare Earth Sciences, LLC - Principal Biologist - Paonia, CO
Ecoresource Solutions Inc
Tony Byrne - President/Principal Ecologist - Arvada, CO
ESCO Associates Inc.
David Buckner, PhD - Boulder, CO
Frederick Environmental Consulting, LLC
David Frederick - Pagosa Springs, CO
George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center (Sutton Center)
- Bartlesville, OK
Greg Simons
Wildlife Consultants, Inc. - Wildlife Biologist - San Angelo, TX
Headwaters Partners, LLC
Travis Morse - Denver, CO
James Armstrong
Rare Earth Science, LLC - Principal Geologist - Gunnison, CO
Kit H. Buell
Buell Environmental LLC - Ecologist - Oak Creek, CO
Lannie B. Philley, AFM
Delta Land & Farm Mgmt Co, LLC - Appraiser, Manager - Mer Rouge, LA
Mason, Bruce & Girard, Inc.
Michael Lester - Portland, OR
Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV)
Mike Carter - Joint Venture Coordinator - Lafayette, CO
Robert Veldman
K·Coe Conservation - Land Consultant - Loveland, CO
Roe Ecological Services, LLC
Chris and Kelly Roe - Logan, KS
Roger Wolfe
Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies - Lesser Prairie Chicken Program Manager - Topeka, KS
Ruben Cantu
Wildlife Consultants, Inc. - Certified Wildlife Biologist, Certified Professional Rangeland Management - San Angelo, TX
Seth Gallagher
Sage Grouse Initiative - Field Capacity and Delivery Coordinator - Fort Collins, CO
SME Environmental, Inc.
Sean Moore - Principal - Durango, CO
Society for Range Management
Jess Peterson - Executive Vice President - Littleton, CO
Steve Boyle
BIO-Logic, Inc. - Principal & Senior Biologist - Montrose, CO
Terri Schulz
The Nature Conservancy in Colorado - Director of Landscape Science and Management - Denver, CO

 Native Species

   
Articles on Native Species
Mitigation and Conservation Banking
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To many landowners a threatened or endangered (T&E) species on their property is anathema because it can herald all kinds of state and federal limitations on use of their property.& ...

Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper

This project is part of a collaborative effort to map and better understand monarch butterflies and their host plants across the Western U.S. Data compiled through this project will improve our understanding of the distribution and phenology of monarchs and milkweeds, identify important breeding areas, and help us better understand monarch conservation needs. Some of the key research questions that these data will help us answer include:

  • Where are different milkweed species growing in the West?
  • Where are monarchs occurring in the West?
  • Where are monarchs breeding in the West?
  • When is milkweed emerging and senescing (dying back) in the West?
  • How does milkweed phenology (life cycle) differ by species?
  • When is monarch breeding occurring in specific areas/regions of the West?
  • What types of habitats are different milkweed species associated with?

Your help is critical to the success of this project! Because monarchs and their host plants are found all across the western U.S., the best way to document them is to engage a multitude of volunteers and their cameras. You can participate in this effort by using this website to:

  • Upload your photos of monarchs and milkweeds;
  • Identify milkweeds using our milkweed key, which profiles over 40 milkweed species found in the west;
  • Submit data which will help researchers determine the distribution, phenology, and conservation needs of monarchs and milkweeds in the west; and
  • Learn about monarchs, their host plants, and ongoing conservation efforts for these species. 
pdf Best Management Practices for Shortgrass Prairie Birds
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The information in this guide is designed to guide you in creating and maintaining habitat for 13 bird species of the shortgrass prairie, birds that are in need of conservation efforts.

pdf Pocket Guide to Sagebrush
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This Guide provides identifying characteristics and range maps for 18 species of sagebrush, encompassing 27 different kinds (including subspecies and hybrids).

pdf Inspection and Cleaning Manual for Equipment and Vehicles to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species 2012 Edition
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Procedures have been developed in this manual to address the transport of pest and invasive species through equipment movement. This manual provides uniform guidelines for inspecting and cleaning vehicles and equipment to help prevent the spread of pest and invasive species during Bureau of Reclamation activities.

Endemic Species and Biodiversity Hotspots

According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, endemic species are native species that are confined to a certain region or having a comparatively restricted distribution.& ...

pdf Native Plants: A Quick Reference Guide
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Learn more about native plants, get involved, and spread the word!

pdf Developing Wildlife-Friendly Pine Plantations
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Native Species Organizations & Professionals
There are 119 resources serving San Luis Valley Region in the following categories:
map itMap of Native Species Organizations & Professionals serving San Luis Valley Region
Biologists / Ecologists
Alan Carpenter, PhD
Land Stewardship Consulting, Inc. - Boulder, CO
Amanda Horvath
WSFR - Fish and Wildlife Branch - Fish & Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
Anna Schmidt
WSFR - Fish and Wildlife Branch - Fish & Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
Basin Wildlife Consulting
Rick Danvir - Casper, WY
Bob Hix
Pheasants Forever Inc. - Regional Field Representative - Aurora, CO
Chris Pague
The Nature Conservancy in Colorado - Senior Conservation Ecologist - Denver, CO
David McGillivary
Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program - Chief - Lakewood, CO
Dawn Reeder
Rare Earth Sciences, LLC - Principal Biologist - Paonia, CO
Eco-Asset Solutions & Innovations LLC
William Coleman - Co-Founder & CEO - Redwood City, CA
Ecoresource Solutions Inc
Tony Byrne - President/Principal Ecologist - Arvada, CO
Eddie Bennett
WSFR - Fish and Wildlife Branch - Fish & Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
Gillian Bee
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies - Stewardship Director - Fort Collins, CO
Greg Simons
Wildlife Consultants, Inc. - Wildlife Biologist - San Angelo, TX
Jacqueline Trout
WSFR - Lands Branch - Team Leader, Fish and Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
John Sanderson
The Nature Conservancy in Colorado - Director of Conservation Science - Boulder, CO
Jonathan Lowsky
Colorado Wildlife Science, LLC - Principal Ecologist - Basalt, CO
Judson Spicer
WSFR - Fish and Wildlife Branch - Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
Kit H. Buell
Buell Environmental LLC - Ecologist - Oak Creek, CO
Lisa Tasker
EM Ecological, LLC - Principal Ecologist - Aspen, CO
Matt Tobler
Blue Mountain Environmental Consulting, LLC - Natural Resource Specialist/Director - Fort Collins, CO
Otto Jose
WSFR - Fish and Wildlife Branch - Team Leader, Fish & Wildlife Biologist - Lakewood, CO
Roe Ecological Services, LLC
Chris and Kelly Roe - Logan, KS
Roger Wolfe
Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies - Lesser Prairie Chicken Program Manager - Topeka, KS
Ruben Cantu
Wildlife Consultants, Inc. - Certified Wildlife Biologist, Certified Professional Rangeland Management - San Angelo, TX
Seth Gallagher
Sage Grouse Initiative - Field Capacity and Delivery Coordinator - Fort Collins, CO
Stephen R. Wenger
- Glade Park, CO
Steve Boyle
BIO-Logic, Inc. - Principal & Senior Biologist - Montrose, CO
Tammy VerCauteren
Executive Director, Administration - Prairie Partners Program - Fort Collins, CO
Terri Schulz
The Nature Conservancy in Colorado - Director of Landscape Science and Management - Denver, CO
Tim Malloy
TG Malloy Consulting, LLC - Land Planner - Glenwood Springs, CO
West Elks Ecological Consulting
Dawn Barton - Owner, Founder of West Elks, and Principal Biologist - Carbondale, CO
WRS Infrastructure & Environment
- Tampa, FL
Fisheries Biologists
Ecoresource Solutions Inc
Tony Byrne - President/Principal Ecologist - Arvada, CO
Joanne Grady
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Mountain-Prairie Region - Regional AIS Coordinator - Denver, CO
Mike Cotter
WSFR - Fish and Wildlife Branch - Fishery Biologist - Lakewood, CO
Native Plant Society Chapters
Colorado Native Plant Society
Jan L Turner & Charles A. Turner - Co-Presidents - Fort Collins, CO
Native Species Nurseries
Botanique
Robert Sacilotto - Stanardsville, VA
Brent and Becky's Bulbs
- Gloucester, VA
Izel Plants
Amanda McClean - Washington, DC
PlantNative
Steve Sullivan - Director - Portland, OR
Rock Bridge Trees
David Hughes - Bethpage, TN
Sharp Bros. Seed Co.
- Greeley, CO
Superior Trees, Inc.
- Lee , FL
Village Nurseries
- Orange , CA
Wildflower Farm
- Coldwater, ON
Seed / Seedling Suppliers
American Grazing Lands Services LLC
Jim & Dawn Gerrish - May, ID
American Tree Seedling
- Bainbridge, GA
ArborGen
- Ridgeville, SC
ATS Partners, LLC
Chuck Whittaker - Bainbridge, GA
Bell Brothers, Inc.
- Claxton, GA
Brent and Becky's Bulbs
- Gloucester, VA
Buckeye Nursery, Inc
- Perry, FL
Central Florida Lands & Timber Nursery, L.L.C.
- Mayo, FL
Chestnut Hill Nursery & Orchards
- Alachua, FL
Colorado State Forest Service
Mike Lester - State Forester and Director - Fort Collins, CO
Deep South Growers
- Douglas, GA
DeepSouth Pine Nursery, Inc.
Gary Cannon, John Manning, Jim Hasty - Bascom, FL
Dwight Stansel Farm Nursery
- Wellborn, FL
Ecoresource Solutions Inc
Tony Byrne - President/Principal Ecologist - Arvada, CO
High Mowing Organic Seeds
Tom Stearns - Founder/Head Seedsman - Wolcott, VT
Ivy Garth Seeds & Plants, Inc.
- Chesterland, OH
J. R. Simplot Company
- Boise, ID
James E. 'Bud' Smith Plant Materials Center
Rob Ziehr - PMC Manager (acting) - Knox City, TX
Johnny's Selected Seeds
Harry Fraser - General Manager - Winslow, ME
Los Lunas Plant Materials Center
Bernadette Cooney - PMC Manager - Los Lunas, NM
Manhattan Plant Materials Center
Mark Janzen - PMC Manager (acting) - Manhattan, KS
Norman A Berg National Plant Materials Center
Ramon Ortiz - PMC Manager (acting) - Beltsville, MD
Osborne Seed Company, LLC
Chris Osborne - Mount Vernon, WA
Ranchland Development Inc.
Roland N. Spencer - Founder - Winfield, KS
Rock Bridge Trees
David Hughes - Bethpage, TN
Sharp Bros. Seed Co.
- Greeley, CO
Speedling, Inc.
- Ruskin, FL
Superior Trees, Inc.
- Lee , FL
The Westervelt Co.
- Tuscaloosa, AL
Utah Seed
Orson Boyce - Bothwell, UT
Wildflower Farm
- Coldwater, ON
Weed / Invasives Management Professionals
Barry Rhea
Rhea Environmental Consulting - Owner, primary consultant - Mancos, CO
Brianna Brannan
County Weed Supervisor - Rio Grande County Weed District - Monte Vista, CO
Center Conservation District
Brenda Anderson - District Manager - Center, CO
Center for Invasive Species Management
Liz Galli-Noble - Director - Bozeman, MT
Colorado Environmental Pesticide Education Program
Colorado State University - Fort Collins, CO
Colorado Weed Free Forage Program
Terry Gander - Program Assistant - Broomfield, CO
Colorado Weed Management Association
Laurie Montagne - Executive Director - Hotchkiss, CO
Country Natural Beef
Wes Davies - Customer Service - Burns, OR
Ecoresource Solutions Inc
Tony Byrne - President/Principal Ecologist - Arvada, CO
Janelle Kukuk
Administrator - Mineral County - Creede, CO
Jinger Tilden
Code Enforcement Officer - Land Use - Alamosa, CO
Joanne Grady
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Mountain-Prairie Region - Regional AIS Coordinator - Denver, CO
Lisa Taylor
Weedy Pie’s Vegetation Management - Owner - Eckert, CO
Lucas Casias
Noxious Weed Coordinator - Costilla County Road & Bridge - San Luis, CO
Myron Price
Supervisor - Conejos County Weed Control - La Jara, CO
Society for Range Management
Jess Peterson - Executive Vice President - Littleton, CO
Tamarisk Coalition
Stacy Beaugh - Executive Director - Grand Junction, CO
Western Aquatic Plant Management Society
Toni Pennington - Tetra Tech, Inc. - Portland, OR
WRS Infrastructure & Environment
- Tampa, FL
Wildlife / Habitat Specialists
Barry Rhea
Rhea Environmental Consulting - Owner, primary consultant - Mancos, CO
Basin Wildlife Consulting
Rick Danvir - Casper, WY
Conservation Science Partners - Colorado Headquarters
Brett Dickson, PhD - President & Chief Scientist - Fort Collins, CO
Dawn Reeder
Rare Earth Sciences, LLC - Principal Biologist - Paonia, CO
Ecoresource Solutions Inc
Tony Byrne - President/Principal Ecologist - Arvada, CO
ESCO Associates Inc.
David Buckner, PhD - Boulder, CO
Frederick Environmental Consulting, LLC
David Frederick - Pagosa Springs, CO
George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center (Sutton Center)
- Bartlesville, OK
Greg Simons
Wildlife Consultants, Inc. - Wildlife Biologist - San Angelo, TX
Headwaters Partners, LLC
Travis Morse - Denver, CO
James Armstrong
Rare Earth Science, LLC - Principal Geologist - Gunnison, CO
Kit H. Buell
Buell Environmental LLC - Ecologist - Oak Creek, CO
Lannie B. Philley, AFM
Delta Land & Farm Mgmt Co, LLC - Appraiser, Manager - Mer Rouge, LA
Mason, Bruce & Girard, Inc.
Michael Lester - Portland, OR
Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV)
Mike Carter - Joint Venture Coordinator - Lafayette, CO
Robert Veldman
K·Coe Conservation - Land Consultant - Loveland, CO
Roe Ecological Services, LLC
Chris and Kelly Roe - Logan, KS
Roger Wolfe
Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies - Lesser Prairie Chicken Program Manager - Topeka, KS
Ruben Cantu
Wildlife Consultants, Inc. - Certified Wildlife Biologist, Certified Professional Rangeland Management - San Angelo, TX
Seth Gallagher
Sage Grouse Initiative - Field Capacity and Delivery Coordinator - Fort Collins, CO
SME Environmental, Inc.
Sean Moore - Principal - Durango, CO
Society for Range Management
Jess Peterson - Executive Vice President - Littleton, CO
Steve Boyle
BIO-Logic, Inc. - Principal & Senior Biologist - Montrose, CO
Terri Schulz
The Nature Conservancy in Colorado - Director of Landscape Science and Management - Denver, CO

 Species Best Management Practices

   
Articles on Species Best Management Practices
pdf The 2016 Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan Annual Progress Report
By:

In 2014, a new era in wildlife conservation was ushered in with the implementation of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (LPC) Range-wide Conservation Plan (Van Pelt et al.

pdf Best Management Practices to Prevent Noxious Weeds During Forest, Range and Residential Projects
By:

The following are best management practices for preventing noxious weed germination, establishment and spread for projects conducted in the field.

pdf Recommended Best Management Practices for Managing Noxious Weeds on Sites with Rare Plants
By:

This document provides natural resource professionals, land managers, and land use decision makers with guidelines and a set of questions to consider surrounding decisions related to noxious weed management in the vicinity of rare plants.

pdf Safe Harbor: Helping Landowners Help Endangered Species
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This handbook describes safe harbor agreements and the way in which they work. It aims to help you decide if a safe harbor agreement makes sense for your land.& ...

pdf Integrating Bird Conservation into Range Management

This manual is designed to assist resource professionals with integrating birds and their habitat needs into range management and monitoring, and to train landowners and land managers to do the same.& ...

pdf Sharing Your Land with Prairie Wildlife
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This third edition of this manual (formerly entitled Sharing Your Land With Shortgrass Prairie Birds) is about how to help birds and other wildlife make a living from the land while you do the same.

pdf Controlling Invasive Species
By:

It is often difficult for landowners to cultivate desirable plant species on their property. An even more frustrating task is keeping unwanted plants at bay.

pdf Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment
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This Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment (ARMPA) is the result of the March 2010 US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 12-Month Finding for Petitions to List the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as Threatened or Endangered (75 Federal  Register 13910, March 23, 2010;USFWS 2010).

pdf Pocket Guide to Sagebrush
By:

This Guide provides identifying characteristics and range maps for 18 species of sagebrush, encompassing 27 different kinds (including subspecies and hybrids).

pdf Inspection and Cleaning Manual for Equipment and Vehicles to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species 2012 Edition
By:

Procedures have been developed in this manual to address the transport of pest and invasive species through equipment movement. This manual provides uniform guidelines for inspecting and cleaning vehicles and equipment to help prevent the spread of pest and invasive species during Bureau of Reclamation activities.

pdf Overview of EPA Authorities for Natural Resource Managers Developing Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response and Management Plans
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed this document as a tool for state, tribal, regional, and local natural resource managers who are preparing or considering the preparation of rapid response action and/or management plans for aquatic invasive species (AIS).

pdf Non-native Invasive Species Best Management Practices
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Non-native plants, animals, and microorganisms found outside of their natural range can become invasive. While many of these are harmless because they do not reproduce or spread in their new surroundings, other non-native species (NNIS) are considered invasive if they can cause harm to the economy, ecology or human health of the new environment.

pdf Prescribed Fire Associations
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A Prescribed Fire Association is a group of landowners and other concerned citizens that form a partnership to conduct prescribed burns. Prescribed burning is the key land management tool used to restore and maintain native plant communities to their former diversity and productivity for livestock production and wildlife habitat.

pdf Ecosystem services provided by bats
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Review of the available literature on the ecological and economic impact of ecosystem services provided by  bats.

pdf 2008 - 2012 National Invasive Species Management Plan
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Invasive Species introduced into the United States from around the globe are affecting plant and animal communities on our farms, ranches and coasts; and in our parks, waters, forests, and backyards.

 

 Local News Stories about Invasive and Native Species Resources

Local Native Species News Items
Kansas Conservation Easement Increases Protection for Lesser Prairie-chicken
8/21/2017 9:09:00 PM
The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has finalized permanent conservation agreements with a private landowner to conserve 968 acres of high-quality lesser prairie-chicken habitat in south-central Kansas. In addition, a 160-acre tract owned by another private landowner that is fenced and managed with the property will be protected under a 10-year conservation agreement that was finalized this week. These two tracts of land are immediately adjacent to a 1,781-acre tract which was placed under a permanent conservation agreement earlier this year. The conserved acreage is all native rangeland currently being managed for livestock production, and this historical use will continue. “Thanks to conservation-minded landowners, we now have a complex of 2,909 acres being managed with the needs of the lesser prairie-chicken in mind,” said Roger Wolfe, WAFWA’s Lesser Prairie-Chicken Program Manager.  “The ranch is in very good condition due to a long history of good management and there are two active leks on the property.” The permanent conservation easement on the 968-acre tract was purchased by WAFWA and will be held and monitored by Pheasants Forever. The easement restricts future development and activities that would be detrimental to the habitat for the bird. All other property rights associated with historical use of the land will be retained by the private landowner.  WAFWA has also established an endowment that will provide the landowner with sufficient payments to implement a lesser prairie-chicken conservation plan in perpetuity. This transaction not only permanently protects key prairie habitat, but also ensures that this property will remain a working cattle ranch. "Pheasants Forever is proud to partner with WAFWA and the private landowners to complete this voluntary conservation easement,” said Jordan Martincich, Director of Development for Pheasants Forever. “The conservation values associated with this project will have a positive impact on wildlife habitat for future generations.  We hope other landowners will partner with Pheasants Forever and WAFWA to perpetually protect their working lands for the benefit of wildlife and the benefit of the ranching community." The range-wide plan is a collaborative effort of WAFWA and the state wildlife agencies of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. It was developed to ensure conservation of the lesser prairie-chicken by providing a mechanism for voluntary cooperation by landowners and industry and improving coordination between state and federal conservation agencies. Funding for WAFWA’s conservation efforts comes from voluntary mitigation payments by industry partners that are enrolled in the plan. The plan allows agriculture producers and industry to continue operations while reducing impacts to the bird and its grassland habitat. Landowners interested in participating in one of the short-term, long-term or permanent conservation options available under the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Plan should contact Roger Wolfe at roger.wolfe@wafwa.org   WAFWA news releases available at http://www.wafwa.org/news/ Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan can be found HERE Media Contact: Roger Wolfe (785) 256-3737     roger.wolfe@wafwa.org Photo Credit: Conservation Media   Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has advanced conservation in western North America. Representing 23 western states and Canadian provinces, WAFWA’s reach encompasses more than 40 percent of North America, including two-thirds of the United States. Drawing on the knowledge of scientists across the West, WAFWA is recognized as the expert source for information and analysis about western wildlife. WAFWA supports sound resource management and building partnerships at all levels to conserve wildlife for the use and benefit of all citizens, now and in the future.

New Video Shows how the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Plan is working on the Landscape
7/26/2017 11:43:00 PM
The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has released a new video demonstrating how the mitigation program in the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan is successfully conserving habitat for this iconic grassland bird. The video documents work being done on a West Texas ranch that is being funded by industry participation in the plan. The video was produced through a partnership between WAFWA, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Pheasants Forever. The range-wide plan allows industry to continue operations while reducing and mitigating impacts to the bird and its grassland habitat. Industry contributions support conservation actions implemented by participating private landowners. Pioneer Natural Resources is one of more than 160 companies that are enrolled in the plan. “Pioneer jumped into this program because it gives us the ability to control our own fate,” said Pioneer VP Legal and Chief Compliance Office Ron Schindler, who appears in the video. “We were able to voluntarily jump in and do some things that would allow us to have some predictability with our future. WAFWA’s expertise helps us select places for production that are less impactful to the chicken first, and on places where we just can’t avoid them, WAFWA also helps us with designs and offsets so that if we impact the chicken in a particular place they get double the habitat elsewhere.” Randy Beasley’s ranch in Yoakum County in West Texas is a textbook example of how the plan is improving lesser prairie-chicken habitat. Beasley’s ranch has been in his family since 1941. He recalls a time before mesquite invaded the landscape, when lesser prairie-chickens abounded. WAFWA entered into a 10-year contract with Beasley to improve habitat on 15,457 acres of his ranch. Beasley is implementing a conservation plan developed by WAFWA to increase native grass production and reduce the proliferation of mesquite and shinnery oak. Mesquite and shinnery oak are native plants but their abundance has increased dramatically since historic times due to fire suppression. Dense stands of these woody plants suppress native grasses which provide important habitat for the bird as well as forage for livestock.  Lesser prairie-chickens also avoid mesquite-infested rangelands. Ideal habitat in this region consists of a diverse stand of native grasses, forbs, and shrubs such as shinnery oak. Since the contract was initiated in March 2015, more than 2,800 acres of mesquite have been mechanically removed with another 2,400 acres slated for removal. In addition, more than 7,500 acres of shinnery oak has been chemically suppressed. WAFWA biologists are now working with the landowner to reintroduce fire to portions of the ranch so that the benefits of these restoration practices will be maintained into the future. WAFWA biologists have documented lesser prairie-chickens on the ranch and expect the birds to soon reoccupy areas where recent restoration work has occurred. “Since we’ve started this wildlife program, we’re starting to see grass grow and we’re seeing chickens again like we did in the past,” Beasley said in the video. “It’s one of those things that is good for us financially, it has been good for the land, for the cattle and it has been a dream come true.” The Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Plan is a collaborative effort of WAFWA and the five state wildlife agencies where the birds are found: Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. The plan was developed to ensure long-term viability of the lesser prairie-chicken through voluntary cooperation by landowners and industry. To date, industry partners have committed over $63 million in enrollment and mitigation fees to pay for conservation actions, and landowners across the range have agreed to conserve over 145,000 acres of habitat through 10-year and permanent conservation agreements. “It is encouraging to see the progress we’ve made in just a few short years,” said J.D. Strong, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and Chairman of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative Council. “This new video underscores how private landowners and industry support are making a difference for the long-term survival of the lesser prairie-chicken. Industry and landowner support for conservation efforts are critically important right now as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is moving through the process to determine if the bird warrants being listed again under the Endangered Species Act. We applaud the participation of landowners and industry who care about the future of this species.”   WAFWA video HERE WAFWA news releases available at www.wafwa.org/news/ Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan can be found HERE Contact: Jim Pitman, 620.208.6120 jim.pitman@wafwa.org   Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has advanced conservation in western North America. Representing 23 western states and Canadian provinces, WAFWA’s reach encompasses more than 40 percent of North America, including two-thirds of the United States. Drawing on the knowledge of scientists across the West, WAFWA is recognized as the expert source for information and analysis about western wildlife. WAFWA supports sound resource management and building partnerships at all levels to conserve wildlife for the use and benefit of all citizens, now and in the future.

Aerial Surveys Confirm Lesser Prairie-Chicken Population is Holding Steady
6/29/2017 2:11:00 AM
The latest lesser prairie-chicken survey shows bird population trends remain stable after six years of aerial survey data collection. The survey indicates an estimated breeding population of 33,269 birds this year, up from 24,648 birds counted last year. Though scientists are encouraged by the numbers, they know that year-to-year fluctuations are the norm with upland birds like the lesser prairie-chicken.   “The survey results indicate a 34% increase in the number of birds, but we don’t read too much into short-term population fluctuations,” explained Roger Wolfe, WAFWA’s Lesser Prairie-chicken Program Manager. “The monitoring technique used for this survey is designed to track trends which more accurately reflect the amount of available habitat and population stability. The bottom line is that the population trend over the last five years indicates a stable population, which is good news for all involved in lesser prairie-chicken conservation efforts.”   Lesser-prairie chickens can be found in four ecoregions in five states: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.  Wildlife biologists note prairie chicken numbers regularly fluctuate up and down from year to year due to changes in habitat conditions mainly influenced by weather patterns. The surveys this year indicated apparent population increases in three of the four ecoregions and range-wide, with an apparent decrease estimated in the fourth ecoregion.   The short-grass prairie ecoregion of northwest Kansas saw the biggest apparent annual increase in birds, followed by the mixed-grass prairie ecoregion of the northeast Panhandle of Texas, northwest Oklahoma and south-central Kansas. The sand sagebrush ecoregion of southeast Colorado and southwest Kansas also registered an apparent annual increase in the number of breeding birds. An apparent annual population decline was noted in the shinnery oak ecoregion of eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle.   “We’d also like to point out that the aerial surveys this year were taken before the late spring snowstorm blasted through much of the bird’s range, just prior to the peak of nest incubation,” said Wolfe. “Like all wildlife, the health of these birds depends on the weather. Rainfall at the right time means healthy habitat for the birds, and heavy wet snow like we saw in late April can have a negative impact on survival and productivity. We’ll know more about the impact of that weather event after aerial surveys are completed next year.”   The Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Plan is a collaborative effort of WAFWA and state wildlife agencies of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. It was developed to ensure long-term viability of the lesser prairie-chicken through voluntary cooperation by landowners and industry. The plan allows industry to continue operations while reducing and mitigating impacts to the bird and its grassland habitat. Industry contributions support conservation actions implemented by participating private landowners. To date, industry partners have committed over $63 million in enrollment and mitigation fees to pay for conservation actions, and landowners across the range have agreed to conserve over 145,000 acres of habitat through 10-year and permanent conservation agreements. Contact: Roger Wolfe, 785.256.3737 roger.wolfe@wafwa.org   WAFWA news releases available at www.wafwa.org/news/ Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan can be found HERE Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has advanced conservation in western North America. Representing 23 western states and Canadian provinces, WAFWA’s reach encompasses more than 40 percent of North America, including two-thirds of the United States. Drawing on the knowledge of scientists across the West, WAFWA is recognized as the expert source for information and analysis about western wildlife. WAFWA supports sound resource management and building partnerships at all levels to conserve wildlife for the use and benefit of all citizens, now and in the future. Photo Credit: Grant Beauprez  

WAFWA Reports on 2016 Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Plan Conservation Progress
4/2/2017 9:24:00 PM
On March 31, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service its third annual report detailing achievements under the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan. Among other highlights, WAFWA reported on the purchase of an ecologically significant piece of property in Kansas, which permanently protects nearly 30,000 acres of high-quality lesser prairie-chicken habitat. The range-wide plan is a collaborative effort of the state wildlife agencies of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado and is administered by WAFWA. It was developed to promote conservation by providing a blueprint for lesser prairie-chicken conservation through voluntary cooperation of landowners, land management agencies and industry participants. This plan allows participants to continue operations while restoring and maintaining habitat and reducing development impacts to the bird and its habitat. “As we close out our third year of implementation, we’re really hitting our stride,” said Alexa Sandoval, Director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and Chairman of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative Council. “We are encouraged that despite an oil and gas industry downturn, support for this collaborative conservation approach remains strong. We commend all of our partners for their participation in the range-wide plan.” The plan was endorsed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2013, and as part of the conservation effort, the states agreed to report annually on the overall progress of the plan. Findings for 2016 include: Land conservation efforts on private land increasing By the end of 2016, WAFWA was conserving 16 sites totaling 133,703 acres either through fee title ownership or long-term contractual agreements. Three of those sites, totaling 33,053 acres, are permanently conserved through perpetual conservation easements or fee title ownership. The other 13 sites were 10-year contracts with private landowners, covering 100,650 acres across the range, three of which were executed during the past year. Most significantly, a 29,718-acre land acquisition by WAFWA was finalized in June 2016, permanently protecting high-quality habitat in the sand sagebrush ecoregion. The property was purchased from a willing seller and will continue to be managed as a working cattle ranch using livestock as the primary tool to create optimum habitat for the bird. In addition, 1,781 acres of privately owned native rangeland is now permanently protected in the mixed grass ecoregion. WAFWA purchased a perpetual easement on the property that protects the conservation values of the site. The easement is held by Pheasants Forever. Lesser prairie-chicken population stable The annual lesser prairie-chicken aerial survey used to monitor populations was conducted from March through May 2016. The latest survey showed population trends have been stable after five years of data collection. An estimated breeding population of 25,261 birds was documented in 2016, which scientists say is not statistically different from the estimate of 29,162 birds in 2015 given the variability associated with the survey methodology. Aerial surveys for 2017 are underway and will run through mid-May. Results are anticipated in early July. Industry projects generate mitigation credit, offset by conservation In 2016, 114 industry related projects were processed and mitigated. There continues to be a surplus of credits available with a range-wide positive value of 71,639 units. This reflects the continued low energy prices that have slowed industry development in the region. WAFWA has focused on committing enrollment and mitigation fees for conservation contracts to benefit the bird and to ensure companies have available mitigation credit to develop as energy prices rebound. In July 2016, WAFWA developed a process to address non-payment of enrollment fees that provides several options to help companies stay enrolled in the program. Technology enhances conservation decision-making During 2016, significant progress was made in database development and accessibility. Highlights include the integration of impact and conservation sites into a relational database to ensure all habitat impacts are offset by an appropriate conservation site. In addition, a custom website was developed that provides participating companies a way to submit and approve new projects as well as view past submissions. WAFWA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can also use the web interface to obtain site-specific summary statistics, habitat mitigation credit balances and raw data. Cooperative efforts enhancing conservation A renewed cooperative effort between Natural Resources Conservation Service, Pheasants Forever and WAFWA will enhance program promotion, monitoring activities, and conservation planning and delivery. There was also continued effort to work with state wildlife agencies to identify and pursue research and management needs. Those activities included lesser prairie-chicken translocation efforts that moved birds from the shortgrass to sand sagebrush ecoregion. Full details are in the annual report available Here Contact: Roger Wolfe, 785-256-3737 roger.wolfe@wafwa.org Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has advanced conservation in western North America. Representing 23 western states and Canadian provinces, WAFWA’s reach encompasses more than 40 percent of North America, including two-thirds of the United States. Drawing on the knowledge of scientists across the West, WAFWA is recognized as the expert source for information and analysis about western wildlife. WAFWA supports sound resource management and building partnerships at all levels to conserve wildlife for the use and benefit of all citizens, now and in the future. Photo Credit: Kelly Adams

Aerial Survey to Document Lesser Prairie-Chicken Population Trends
3/6/2017 8:00:00 PM
Aerial Surveys to Document Lesser Prairie-Chicken Population Trends Aerial surveys will begin March 16 and run through mid-May in five states containing lesser prairie-chicken habitat. The surveys are conducted annually by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) to document population trends and how the bird is responding to management strategies identified in the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan. The range-wide plan is a collaborative effort of WAFWA and the state wildlife agencies of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. It was developed to ensure conservation of the lesser prairie-chicken with voluntary cooperation of landowners and industry. The plan allows agriculture producers and industry to continue operations while reducing impacts to the bird and its grassland habitat. “We’ve established a consistent methodology for these aerial surveys, working closely with the wildlife agencies of each of the states involved,” explained Roger Wolfe, WAFWA’s Lesser Prairie-chicken Program Manager. “We’re documenting population trends over time that will allow us to see how various management strategies for the bird are working on the ground.” The surveys will be conducted by helicopter in locations chosen randomly within lesser prairie-chicken range, which is part of the methodology strategy. In previous years, some of the fly paths prompted calls, which is why WAFWA is getting the word out about the start of aerial survey work. Results from this year’s surveys will be available on July 1. WAFWA news releases available at http://www.wafwa.org/news/ Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan can be found HERE March 7, 2017 Contact: Roger Wolfe, 785.256.3737 roger.wolfe@wafwa.org   Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has advanced conservation in western North America. Representing 23 western states and Canadian provinces, WAFWA’s reach encompasses more than 40 percent of North America, including two-thirds of the United States. Drawing on the knowledge of scientists across the West, WAFWA is recognized as the expert source for information and analysis about western wildlife. WAFWA supports sound resource management and building partnerships at all levels to conserve wildlife for the use and benefit of all citizens, now and in the future. Photo Credit: Grant Beauprex

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant to Restore Lesser Prairie-Chicken Habitat
2/12/2017 8:08:00 PM
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has awarded a grant to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) to restore habitat to benefit the lesser prairie-chicken. The grant, which totals $197,309.25, is being funded through NFWF’s ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation and Innovation Program. “We appreciate our partnership with NFWF and ConocoPhillips and look forward to applying these funds as we continue to implement the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Plan,” said Alexa Sandoval, Director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and Chairman of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative Council. “Restoration work is key to the long-term survival of the bird and this grant will contribute to the combined efforts to keep the bird off the endangered species list.” The bird was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2014, but was de-listed in 2016 after a federal judge ruled on a lawsuit and vacated protections for the bird. The judge ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not thoroughly consider active conservation efforts in making the listing decision, namely the activities associated with WAFWA’s Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-Wide Plan. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife is currently reviewing the status of the lesser prairie-chicken across its five-state range to determine whether it should be listed again. The NFWF grant will fund restoration work on up to 1,000 acres of private land that will connect larger fragmented pieces of prairie-chicken habitat. Contiguous tracts of good habitat create better conditions for the bird. “The range-wide plan calls for us to focus our efforts as strategically as possible,” said Bill Van Pelt, WAFWA Grassland Coordinator. “By connecting good bird habitat, more acreage will be available for the birds to thrive.” The range-wide plan is a collaborative effort of WAFWA and the state wildlife agencies of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. It was developed to ensure conservation of the lesser prairie-chicken by providing a mechanism for voluntary cooperation by landowners and industry and improving coordination between state and federal conservation agencies. Funding for WAFWA’s conservation efforts comes from voluntary mitigation payments by industry partners that are enrolled in the plan, along with grants from partners like NFWF. The plan allows agriculture producers and industry to continue operations while reducing impacts to the bird and its grassland habitat.   WAFWA news releases available at www.wafwa.org/news/ More info about NFWF’s ConocoPhillips SPIRIT of Conservation and Innovation Program: www.nfwf.org/spirit/Pages/home.aspx Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan can be found HERE Media contact: Bill Van Pelt 602-717-5066 bill.vanpelt@wafwa.org Photo Credit: Grant Beauprez Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has advanced conservation in western North America. Representing 23 western states and Canadian provinces, WAFWA’s reach encompasses more than 40 percent of North America, including two-thirds of the United States. Drawing on the knowledge of scientists across the West, WAFWA is recognized as the expert source for information and analysis about western wildlife. WAFWA supports sound resource management and building partnerships at all levels to conserve wildlife for the use and benefit of all citizens, now and in the future.

WAFWA Secures First Conservation Easement for Lesser Prairie-Chicken Habitat on Private Land
1/4/2017 10:22:00 PM
The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has finalized permanent conservation agreements with a private landowner to conserve 1,781 acres of high-quality lesser prairie-chicken habitat in south-central Kansas. This is the first permanent conservation easement in the mixed-grass prairie region secured as part of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Plan. The conserved acreage is all native rangeland currently being managed for livestock production, and this historical use will continue. The property is occupied by lesser prairie-chickens and is located within one of the highest priority conservation areas identified in the range-wide plan. The transactions includes a conservation easement purchased by WAFWA and held by Pheasants Forever that legally restricts future development and activities that would be detrimental to the habitat for the bird. All other property rights associated with historical use of the land will be retained by the private landowner. WAFWA has also established an endowment that will provide the landowner with sufficient payments to implement a lesser prairie-chicken conservation plan in perpetuity. This transaction not only permanently protects key prairie habitat but also ensures that this property will remain a working cattle ranch. “This conservation easement is another milestone in the successful implementation of the range-wide plan and will permanently secure important habitat that the birds need to thrive,” said Roger Wolfe, WAFWA’s Lesser Prairie-Chicken Program Manager. “We appreciate the collaboration with Pheasants Forever, our industry partners who are funding this effort, and the conservation-minded landowner who has made this possible.” “It took a lot of work on the part of WAFWA, Pheasants Forever and ourselves to find a balance between the needs of the lesser prairie-chicken and maintaining historical use of the land,” said Tom Hammond, manager of the property. “The result is an innovative approach that acknowledges and rewards landowners for permanently conserving large tracts of habitat, while maintaining the integrity of the land for the long-term benefit of the landowner and the species. There is high quality habitat there now because we have managed the range properly for both grazing and wildlife. These agreements make sure that approach remains in place forever.” The range-wide plan is a collaborative effort of WAFWA and the state wildlife agencies of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. It was developed to ensure conservation of the lesser prairie-chicken by providing a mechanism for voluntary cooperation by landowners and industry and improving coordination between state and federal conservation agencies. Funding for WAFWA’s conservation efforts comes from voluntary mitigation payments by industry partners that are enrolled in the plan. The plan allows agriculture producers and industry to continue operations while reducing impacts to the bird and its grassland habitat. Landowners interested in participating in one of the short-term, long-term or permanent conservation options available under the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Plan should contact Roger Wolfe at roger.wolfe@wafwa.org WAFWA news releases available at http://www.wafwa.org/news/ Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Plan can be found HERE Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has advanced conservation in western North America. Representing 23 western states and Canadian provinces, WAFWA’s reach encompasses more than 40 percent of North America, including two-thirds of the United States. Drawing on the knowledge of scientists across the West, WAFWA is recognized as the expert source for information and analysis about western wildlife. WAFWA supports sound resource management and building partnerships at all levels to conserve wildlife for the use and benefit of all citizens, now and in the future. Photo Credit: Grant Beauprez

Conservation Milestone Achieved for Lesser Prairie-Chicken with Wind Energy Partnership
1/27/2016 8:25:00 PM
The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has finalized the first new wind energy development under the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan. The Bluestem Wind Energy project in western Oklahoma will be operated by Exelon Corporation, which recently purchased the project from Renewable Energy System (RES) Americas Inc. RES developed and is constructing the project. Fees associated with enrollment of this project in the range-wide plan have been deposited with WAFWA, which is partnering with landowners to implement habitat conservation projects across the range of the lesser prairie-chicken. Funding for this non-federal conservation effort now totals over $50 million.  “We commend Exelon and RES for taking part in this innovative and collaborative conservation effort for the lesser prairie-chicken, and we’re excited to see this first wind energy project come on board,” said Alexa Sandoval, Director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and Chairman of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative Council. “By voluntarily enrolling in the range-wide plan, they are demonstrating how wildlife conservation and energy development can occur on the landscape through proactive planning and by working with WAFWA and state wildlife agencies, regardless of the endangered species status of the bird. We anticipate more wind energy enrollments in the future.” A Sept. 1, 2015 federal court decision   vacated protection of the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act, ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not thoroughly consider active conservation efforts in making their listing decision, specifically the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan .  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has asked a federal judge to reconsider the Sept. 1 decision and a ruling is expected on that request soon. The range-wide plan was developed by the five states within the range of the lesser prairie-chicken and is being administered by WAFWA. Those states are Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. The plan is designed to provide conservation of habitat necessary for the survival of this grassland bird. The groundbreaking partnership between state fish and wildlife agencies and energy companies allows development while minimizing and mitigating impacts to lesser prairie-chickens and the habitat they need to thrive. Working with over 180 energy companies, WAFWA has created a conservation endowment fund from enrollment and habitat impact fees to support lesser prairie-chicken habitat conservation in the years to come. The interest from the endowment pays farmers and ranchers in perpetuity to conserve and restore habitat on private lands. As of January 2016, WAFWA has used the fees and interest to contract with private landowners for more than 100,000 acres of lesser prairie-chicken habitat conservation and has also purchased over 1,600 acres of habitat for permanent conservation. “Exelon has a significant portfolio of wind projects across the country, and at each of them we are committed to constructing and operating in an environmentally responsive manner with special attention to minimizing wildlife impacts,” said Ed Tracey, Director of Environmental Project Management for Exelon. “We have the same commitment at Bluestem. We’ve worked closely with WAFWA and will continue to work with them to minimize our development impact on lesser prairie-chickens and their habitat.” The 198-megawatt Bluestem wind farm project will consist of 60 wind turbine generators. Construction on the project has already begun and is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2016.   WAFWA has been on the leading edge of transforming the way conservation measures are applied on the landscape in the western U.S. Pulling together state and federal agencies and involving landowners, land managers and industry, WAFWA has been the catalyst in developing collaborative conservation efforts across the West, including the range-wide plan.    “The Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan puts an economic value on prairie-chicken habitat, and companies have an incentive to shift new developments out of the native prairies and into areas either already developed or tilled because it costs less,” said Sean Kyle, WAFWA Industry Services Director. “That’s having a positive impact on how and where energy companies are siting new projects and development. And the bottom line is: that’s good news for the long-term survival of this iconic species.” Organized in 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) represents 23 states and Canadian provinces, an area covering nearly 3.7 million square miles of some of North America's most wild and scenic country. WAFWA supports and promotes the principles of sound resource management and the building of partnerships at the regional, national and international levels in order to enhance wildlife conservation efforts and the protection of associated habitats in the public interest.  Jan. 28, 2016 Media Contact: Sean Kyle, 806-252-2766, sean.kyle@wafwa.org Photo credit Grant Beauprez (c) Download the Full Article ####  

WAFWA Encourages Oil & Gas Company Participation in Lesser Prairie-Chicken Conservation Plan
11/10/2015 9:52:00 PM
Recent court decision makes enrollment opportunity available again.-- The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) is encouraging oil and gas companies to enroll oil and gas leases and pipelines in a voluntary program to help conserve the lesser prairie-chicken. Because of a Sept. 1, 2015 federal court decision that vacated protection of the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act, WAFWA’s Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances is now open for new enrollments of oil and gas leases and pipelines. The Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances provides industry with predictability for their operations should the lesser prairie-chicken be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act again.  The bird was listed as threatened in May 2014, but the Sept. 1, 2015 court decision reversed that protection. Because of that decision, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved new enrollments by companies operating within the five range states of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The companies are required to implement conservation benefits for lesser prairie chickens and pay enrollment and impact fees for unavoidable impacts, which allow the companies to continue oil and gas production, while contributing to conserving lesser prairie-chicken habitat. “Since this program began in 2014, more than 180 oil, gas, wind, electric and pipeline companies have enrolled about 11 million acres across the five states, and ha ve committed $47.5 million for habitat conservation,” said Sean Kyle, WAFWA’s Industry Services Director. “We’ve had great support for this program and we encourage all companies not currently participating to take advantage of this enrollment opportunity.” WAFWA officials do not know how long this new opportunity will be available. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has asked a federal judge to reconsider the Sept. 1 decision, and depending on the outcome, the new enrollment period could end. Because of the uncertainty, WAFWA encourages all interested companies to enroll as soon as possible. WAFWA’s Lesser Prairie Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan and the Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances were developed by state wildlife agency experts in 2013 with input from a wide variety of stakeholders.  The Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances is one piece of a comprehensive range-wide plan designed to conserve the lesser prairie-chicken. “Our long-term goal is conservation of the lesser prairie-chicken, regardless of its Endangered Species Act status,” said Alexa Sandoval, Director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and Chairman of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative Council. “Since the Sept. 1 decision to vacate the listing, we have pursued conservation efforts under the range-wide plan with the same vigor as we did before. We’re pleased to report that our landowner and industry partners are equally committed to continued conservation efforts.” WAFWA has enrolled over 96,000 acres of farm and ranch land to offset industry development over the last year and a half. In addition, WAFWA has acquired 1,600 acres in permanent conservation and contracted for 8,900 acres of habitat restoration, which will create new habitat for the species.  An abundance of spring rainfall, along with ongoing efforts associated with the range-wide plan and other conservation initiatives, has helped increase the population of birds by approximately 25 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to results from the 2015 range-wide aerial survey.  Despite this encouraging news, the population is still low compared to historical numbers, and the threats to the lesser prairie-chicken and its habitat still exist. WAFWA is committed to continued successful implementation of the range-wide plan and the long-term recovery of this iconic grassland bird. Organized in 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) represents 23 states and Canadian provinces, an area covering nearly 3.7 million square miles of some of North America's most wild and scenic country. WAFWA supports and promotes the principles of sound resource management and the building of partnerships at the regional, national and international levels in order to enhance wildlife conservation efforts and the protection of associated habitats in the public interest.  Download the PDF Photo Credit Larry Kruckenberg (c)

WAFWA Statement Regarding the Federal Court Decision about the Lesser Prairie-Chicken
9/3/2015 1:30:00 AM
The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) is evaluating the recent federal court decision regarding the listing of the lesser prairie-chicken that was handed down in the U.S. District Court Western District of Texas on Sept. 1, 2015. The decision vacates federal protections for the lesser prairiechicken, which was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2014. The court ruling states that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not thoroughly consider active conservation efforts in making the listing decision, namely the activities associated with the Lesser Prairie-Chicken RangeWide Plan (RWP). The RWP was developed and is being administered by WAFWA. The court decision underscores the validity of a comprehensive voluntary conservation effort involving state conservation agencies, landowners and industry. The RWP was developed with long term conservation of the lesser prairie-chicken in mind, regardless of its Endangered Species Act status. This plan allows agriculture producers and industry to continue operations while reducing the identified threats considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Regardless of the eventual outcome of this latest court decision, continued implementation of the RWP is critical to long-term conservation of the bird and its habitat. Since the plan went into effect last year, more than 96,000 acres of lesser prairie-chicken habitat is being conserved through ten-year landowner agreements. More than 180 oil, gas, wind, electric and pipeline companies have enrolled about 11 million acres across the five states, and have committed $47.5 million for habitat conservation. Enrollment fees are deposited into an endowment with WAFWA and administered to fund conservation efforts by private landowners to benefit the lesser prairie-chicken within its five-state range. (Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico). Landowners currently enrolled in the conservation plan will receive $14 million dollars in payments over the life of their contracts. An abundance of spring rainfall, along with ongoing efforts associated with the RWP and other conservation initiatives, has helped increase the population of birds by approximately 25 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to results from a recent range-wide aerial survey. Despite this encouraging news, the population is still low compared to historical numbers and the threats to the lesser prairie-chicken and its habitat still exist. Organized in 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) represents 23 states and Canadian provinces, an area covering nearly 3.7 million square miles of some of North America's most wild and scenic country. WAFWA supports and promotes the principles of sound resource management and the building of partnerships at the regional, national and international levels in order to enhance wildlife conservation efforts and the protection of associated habitats in the public interest.  Download the PDF Photo Credit Dan Williams, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (c)