Steve Williams Announces Retirement From WMI

August 15, 2022

After 18 years as the President of the Wildlife Management Institute, Steve Williams is announcing that he has decided to retire from the organization on March 31, 2023. The WMI Board of Directors will be searching for a new WMI President starting this fall with an anticipated selection being made on or before February 2023. A position announcement will be circulated prior to the AFWA meeting in September. Following is a statement from Williams about his retirement.

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Howard Vincent Announces 2023 Retirement


National Board of Directors has hired Cohen Taylor to lead Executive Search

St. Paul, Minn. – March 31, 2022 – Howard Vincent, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s president & CEO since 2000, has announced plans to retire following National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic 2023 next February. The organization’s national board of directors has enlisted the services of Cohen Taylor to lead the nationwide application and interview process. 

Vincent joined the organization as a volunteer in 1984, only two years after the organization’s creation in 1982.  He was hired as a full-time employee in 1987 as the organization’s first director of finance. In 2000, Vincent succeeded Jeff Finden to become the second person to lead the non-profit conservation organization during its 40-year history. 

“I’m extremely proud of the team we have in place to deliver this organization’s habitat mission,” Vincent said. “We produced more acres of habitat and generated more dollars for conservation in 2021 than any other year in our history, and we’re going to break those records in 2022. That’s a credit to every one of our employees, our national board of directors, this organization’s dedicated volunteers, and our many partners. It’s now time to prepare for the next chapter. ”
 

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Dread fungus puts bat closer to extinction

03/22/2022 01:31 PM EDT

By Michael Doyle with Greenwire

Ravaged by the deadly white-nose syndrome, the northern long-eared bat now requires heightened federal protection as an endangered species, the Fish and Wildlife Service said today.

The move acknowledges a deterioration in the condition of the bat, which was designated a threatened species under federal law in 2015. A lawsuit filed by environmentalists subsequently compelled the federal agency to reconsider the status of the species (Greenwire, April 1, 2015).

“White-nose syndrome is devastating northern long-eared bats at unprecedented rates, as indicated by this science-based finding,” Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Charlie Wooley said in a statement.

Wind energy projects, climate change and habitat loss also pose threats.

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Wholesale Fish Dealer Convicted In Wisconsin’s Invasive Carp Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2022
Contact: Lt. Robert Stroess, DNR Administrative Warden
robert.stroess@wisconsin.gov or 920-901-1361

Joanne Haas, DNR Division of Public Safety and Resource Protection joanne.haas@wisconsin.gov or 608-209-8147

Public Tip Started DNR Warden Investigation In 2018

Invasive carp can destroy habitats of native state fish. / Photo Credit: iStock.com / wrangel

MADISON, Wis. – A wholesale fish dealer from Platteville was convicted of illegally selling invasive carp, Wisconsin’s most prominent and highly destructive invasive species. The case is the first-ever in Wisconsin involving the illegal sale of Asian carp.

Ping Li, co-owner and sole operator of Li Fish Farm, LLC in rural Platteville, was convicted in Grant and Dane county circuit courts of two misdemeanor crimes and 17 forfeiture violations under a plea deal. Li was ordered to pay more than $13,000 in penalties.

The 19 convictions were for violations, including Violation of Wholesale Fish Dealer Vehicle ID Requirements when Transporting Fish, Possession of Illegal Fish with a Value Over $300, Improper Transport of Asian Carp and Failure to Keep Wholesale Fish Dealer Records.

A complaint from a member of the public sparked an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2018, which focused primarily on activities during 2018 and 2019. However, the illegal fish activities had been ongoing for several years before.

The types of carp involved in this case – bighead, silver and grass – are different from the carp commonly known as German carp or common carp, which have lived in Wisconsin since the mid-1800s. Bighead, silver and grass carp are highly invasive fish that can destroy habitats of native state fish.

“The species is top on the Least Wanted Aquatic Invasive Species List from the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers,” said Lt. Robert Stroess, DNR warden administrator for Commercial Fishing and Aquatic Species in Trade Enforcement.

Specifically, threats from each type of carp include:

  • The bighead carp is a feeder of plankton, which is a primary food for many native fish including walleye, yellow perch, lake whitefish and all juvenile fish. This specific carp is a major threat to the Great Lakes $7 billion fishing industry.
  • The silver carp is another feeder on fish habitats attacked by the bighead. This species also is known to leap out of the water, which is a threat to boaters and the region’s $16 billion boating industry.
  • The grass carp eats aquatic habitats and is known to help cause algae blooms and damage to wetlands and waterfowl habitats.

In Wisconsin, by law, invasive carp must be either eviscerated (gutted) or have the entire gill covering severed. This requirement exists because these invasive carp can survive out of water for up to a day or longer. Gutting them or severing the gill covering ensures the fish cannot be revived. Many other states have similar laws.

“The laws around the Great Lakes states are in place to minimize the threat of these species finding their way into new waterways at the hands of humans,” said Stroess. “The laws serve as important protections for our native Wisconsin fish.”

Nearly all the invasive carp Li sold and transported were completely intact and therefore illegal in Wisconsin. In 2018 alone, more than 9,000 pounds of Li’s overall invasive carp sales were transported or sold illegally in the state.

Li also violated the law when he used an unmarked refrigerated van to transport and deliver most of the illegal carp, making it difficult to identify it as a wholesale fish dealer vehicle.

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Judge restores protections for gray wolves across much of US


by MATTHEW BROWN and JOHN FLESHER, Associated PressThursday, February 10th 2022

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Gray wolves (Wisconsin DNR photo/Herbert Lange)

Gray wolves (Wisconsin DNR photo/Herbert Lange)

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BILLINGS, Mont (AP) — A judge restored federal protections for gray wolves across much of the U.S. on Thursday, after their removal in the waning days of the Trump administration exposed the predators to hunting that critics said would undermine their rebound from widespread extermination early last century.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in Oakland, California, said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had failed to show wolf populations could be sustained in the Midwest and portions of the West without protection under the Endangered Species Act. The service also didn’t adequately consider threats to wolves outside those core areas, White said.

Wildlife advocates had sued the agency last year, saying state-sponsored hunting threatened to reverse the gray wolf’s recovery over the past several decades. The ruling does not directly impact wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and portions of several adjacent states that remain under state jurisdiction after protections in the region were lifted by Congress last decade.

Attorneys for the Biden administration had defended the Trump rule that removed protections, arguing wolves were resilient enough to bounce back even if their numbers dropped sharply due to intensive hunting.

At stake is the future of a species whose recovery from near-extinction has been heralded as a historic conservation success. That recovery has brought bitter blowback from hunters and farmers angered over wolf attacks on big game herds and livestock. They contend protections are no longer warranted.

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