Saturday, September 17, 2016

News on Endangered Species, Efficient Design of Facilities, and winner of Federal Duck Stamp from USFWS




The USFWS is wanting to lead by example when building new facilities. In that light, they are proud of the new facility they have built at Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa.  It received the 2016 Federal Energy and Water Management Award. It also has the virtue of being attractive. Relatively commonsense approached were used to achieve the results mentioned, such as conserving water using only native plants that thrive without watering (seems like a no-brainer at a USFWS facility) and solar power with LED lighting. These are but a couple of examples of the approaches and technologies utilized. Read more about this at https://goo.gl/y4Y9xx.

The USFWS is trying to encourage endangered species recovery by maximizing use of federal money through Endangered Species Act Grant Program.  This year about $45 million will have been paid out in grants to twenty states.  One example is the states of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin will receive $1 million under the Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance Grants Program to develop a multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) that will help researchers better understand the distribution and summer habitat use of local cave-dwelling bats, including the federally-listed Indiana and northern long-eared bats. The project will also help support sustainable forest management practices in the region, which in turn will allow public and private landowners to meet economic, ecological and social goals.

Sometimes the USFWS finds ways to contribute to recovery efforts for one endangered species through its conservation efforts in another area.  At the Genoa Fish Hatchery near Chicago, there exists almost ideal habitat for what I believe is the only dragonfly listed as endangered in the U.S.  There is a collaborative effort to use the ecosystem surrounding Genoa to help the Hine's emerald dragonfly recover - and the good news is that it seems to be paying dividends.  This is the kind of "big picture" effort that needs to be and is being put into practice by many conservation organizations - both public and private. You can red more about this particular effort at https://goo.gl/FT95oN.

The 2016 Federal Duck Stamp winner was James Hautman.  He used a painting of three Canada Geese.  (See Top)