Sierra Nevada Conservancy Announces New Partnership Focuses on Increased Use of Fire in California for Natural Resource and Public Benefits
May 10, 2018 - Sacramento, Calif. – Federal and State agency officials gathered today with conservation and community fire protection groups to kick off the inaugural workshop for a Memorandum of Understanding that will promote the careful and expanded use of fire for natural resource and other social benefits in California. Wildland fuels are continuing to build up and wildfires are growing larger and more difficult to control, especially in light of California’s extended drought experience and changing climate. These factors have helped bring this unique partnership together. Citing recent fire science and large, damaging wildfires like the Rim, King, Valley, and Butte fires, this new fire partnership is calling for an expanded response and a broader suite of tools to restore resilience and protect communities across California’s rural landscape.
The Western Governors’ Association list of the “Top 50 Invasive Species in the West” delivers the first-ever regional assessment of this environmental challenge.
The compilation of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species includes highly-publicized examples such as cheatgrass, quagga mussels, tamarisk and the Emerald Ash Borer. The list also encompasses less well known, but still impactful, examples such as leafy spurge, Red shiner, Russian knapweed and Golden algae. (Download the complete list)
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.
BOISE, Idaho – With a fleet of 312 unmanned aircraft, the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Aviation Services supported bureau operators, who flew nearly 5,000 missions in 2017, ranging from fighting wildfires to monitoring dams and spillways and mapping wildlife. The accomplishments of its unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drone program, can be found in a report announced today by DOI that summarizes flights made by more than 200 certified pilots in 32 states nationwide.
The report comes after U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced in June a set of initiatives to protect western ecosystems and hydroelectric facilities from the destructive species through continued collaboration with western governors as well as federal, state, and tribal agencies.