Open To The Public
|Leaders for 18 western fish and wildlife agencies will convene in Central Oregon in July to discuss tools to manage fish and wildlife in the face of increasing urbanization, declining populations and a lack of public trust in resource managers.
"This conference is all about change," said Jim Greer, Director for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and host of the conference. "All fish and wildlife agencies are finding it's difficult to balance the needs of the traditional hunter and angler with new demands stemming from habitat loss, regulations, and increased public expectations. We need to be creative and use partnerships to solve complex problems."
Agency decision-makers will be joined by conservation groups and corporations to plan for long-term protection of fish, wildlife, and native habitats in 15 western states and three Canadian provinces.
The theme of the conference is "Fish and Wildlife Management in the New West Tools for the Next Century." Sessions will focus on examples of how fish and wildlife agencies are failing and succeeding with their constituents, how agencies can alter the "culture" within the organization to be more effective, and how today's economic, environmental and political forces affect resource management. Other sessions will look at how agencies will look 15 years from now and how funding from the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, now being considered by the U.S. Congress, would alter programs.
The conference is held annually by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) and comes to Oregon once every 15 years. WAFWA was founded in 1922 to advance reforms in fish and wildlife management at state, national and international levels. The meetings promote the exchange of ideas and philosophies between administrators, commissioners, biologists, technicians, non-profit conservation organizations and corporations.
The formal conference begins Monday, July 10 and will last through Tuesday, July 11. It will be held at Three Sisters Convention Center at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond, Oregon. A business meeting will be held July 12. On Sunday, July 9, committee meetings will occur in preparation for the business meeting.
Members of the public are welcome to attend all or part of the formal conference sessions. Registration begins Sunday at the convention center entrance and allows participation at all meals. The cost is $50 and includes two continental breakfasts and two lunches.
The schedule is:
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