Here’s an update on the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, with thanks to Chris Eberly:
Welcome New Committee members
The Committee welcomes Cal DuBrock, Pennsylvania Game Commission, and Arthur Feinstein, to the U.S. NABCI Committee. Cal is the new Chair of the AFWA’s Resident Game Bird Working Group and will also sit on the U.S. NABCI Committee. Arthur will participate on the U.S. NABCI Committee as the new Chair of the Association of Joint Venture Management Boards. Many Thanks to Breck Carmichael and Kirk Nelson for their years of commitment to the U.S. NABCI Committee.
NABCI Winter meeting – January 12-13, 2010
The next U.S. NABCI Committee meeting will be held on January 12 – 13, 2010 in Arlington, Virginia.
Recommendations for Bird Conservation Region (BCR) Map Changes Being Accepted
The Tri-national NABCI Committee asked that each national committee consider a process for receiving requests for changes to the BCR map for their country. The U.S. NABCI Committee will be accepting requests for updates to the BCR map through December 31, 2009. More information and the request form can be found at http://www.nabci-us.org/bcrchanges.html.
NABCI/AJVMB Award Nominations Being Accepted
The U.S. NABCI Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2010 Gary T. Myers Bird Conservation Award and the 2010 NABCI/AJVMB Policy Award. The awards will go to the individual or group who has shown unparalleled accomplishments in bird conservation at any scale as contained in the principles of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative and the national/international bird initiatives (North American Waterfowl Management Plan, Partners in Flight, Waterbird Conservation for the Americas, National Shorebird Plans, and the resident game bird plans) and the individual or group who has shown unparalleled accomplishments in development and/or implementation of critical bird conservation policy and/or legislation at the national scale. Nominations are due by COB December 31, 2009. More information and nomination forms can be obtained at http://www.nabci-us.org/main2.html.
State of the Birds Update
The State of the Birds Subcommittee continues to make progress toward a 2010 report on birds and climate change. The Subcommittee has monthly conference calls and its next face-to-face meeting is October 20-21, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia.
Private Lands Subcommittee – Biological Capacity White Paper
Strong consensus exists within the wildlife community and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that wildlife conservation results achieved through the Farm Bill are strongly correlated with the biological capacity at the local level (e.g., NRCS biologists, cost-shared Farm Bill biologists, etc.). That national agricultural policy favoring wildlife conservation is as successful as the local delivery capacity. After the last U.S. NABCI Committee meeting, a number of partners including Committee members (John Hoskins, Laurie Osterndorf, and David Goad), and Joint Venture and NGO partners met with the Chief of the NRCS to discuss the need to increase the delivery capacity in NRCS and through partner biologists. A white paper and one pager were developed for this meeting and can be found at http://www.nabci-us.org/pvtlands_biocapacity.html.
Monitoring Subcommittee – Database Management Workshop
Effective data management is integral to successfully conserving bird populations of concern in North America. The Report Opportunities for Improving Avian Monitoring (2007) emphasizes the need to maintain bird population monitoring data in modern management systems and provide greater access to avian monitoring information. Improvements to bird conservation data management should focus on developing and supporting efficient data architectures and minimizing long-term information loss. The Subcommittee sponsored a workshop (http://www.nabci-us.org/monitoring_database.html) in July 2009 at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center where attendees developed criteria to enable bird initiatives to evaluate management frameworks for priority databases. These criteria will ultimately result in unified recommendations to address resource needs to protect extant and create desired but nonexistent priority databases in the long term.
The Joint Venture Communications Team and the NABCI Communication Subcommittee developed a Joint Venture Legislation Fact Sheet. The Fact Sheet is being used by a number of non-federal organizations to promote the Joint Venture legislation in the Senate. In July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2188, the Joint Ventures for Bird Habitat Conservation Act of 2009, which was introduced by Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-MD). The bill formally authorizes the FWS Joint Ventures Program. Senator Cardin is preparing to move the House passed bill (HR 2188) through the Senate Water and Wildlife Subcommittee.
On September 22nd, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife met to consider three bills—reauthorization of the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (HR 2213); amending the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (HR 3433); and reauthorization of the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program Act (HR 3537). The USFWS, Ducks Unlimited, National Audubon Society, and American Bird Conservancy spoke to the three proposed bills. HR 3443 would allow the non-federal share of the US contribution to the costs of wetland conservation projects carried out in Canada to include cash contributions from non-US sources and allow funds from Canadian sources to account for up to half of the non-federal share of project costs. HR 2213 would re-authorize appropriations for five years, and incrementally raise the level of authorization each year from $8 million in FY2010 to $20 million in FY2015. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved an identical bill in June 2009 (S. 690). Representatives Kind and Gerlach’s HR 2213 is scheduled for markup on Wednesday, September 30, 2009.