Jeb Williams New North Dakota Director

Monday, August 23, 2021 – 12:00 pm

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today appointed Wildlife Division Chief Jeb Williams to serve as the next director of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, effective Aug. 24, citing his broad experience and leadership during his 22-year career with the agency.  

Williams joined the Game and Fish Department in 1999 and has served in a variety of roles including natural resource technician and biologist, outreach biologist and wildlife resource management supervisor. He was named chief of the department’s Wildlife Division in 2014 after having served as assistant wildlife chief since 2011.

“Jeb has a strong track record as a highly capable leader on issues affecting fish and wildlife resources and as an effective communicator in relating those issues to North Dakota’s hunters and anglers and the general public,” Burgum said. “His extensive background, commitment to public service and trusted leadership within Game and Fish will benefit North Dakota citizens and the management of our state’s abundant wildlife resources.”

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Surveillance Data Shows White-Tailed Deer Exposed to SARS-CoV-2

Published: July 28, 2021

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Contact: APHISpress@usda.gov

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently completed a study that analyzed serum samples from free-ranging white-tailed deer for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Results of the study indicate that certain white-tailed deer populations in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania were exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

Samples were obtained opportunistically as part of wildlife damage management activities conducted by APHIS Wildlife Services across 32 counties in the 4 states. These samples were tested at APHIS’ National Wildlife Research Center and National Veterinary Services Laboratories. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 33% of the 481 samples collected from January 2020 through 2021. None of the deer populations surveyed showed signs of clinical illness associated with SARS-CoV-2.

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Historic, Bipartisan Bill Will Galvanize Wildlife Recovery

  • Lacey McCormick, National Wildlife Federation
  • Jul 20, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — New legislation from U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) will dedicate $1.4 billion annually to proactive, voluntary, locally-led efforts to recover thousands of at-risk wildlife species, while creating jobs and ensuring our outdoor heritage endures for future generations. 

“The historic, bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is by far the most important piece of wildlife legislation in the past half century,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “At a time when more than one-third of wildlife species are at heightened risk of extinction, this critical legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species through proactive, collaborative efforts in every state, territory, and Tribal nation, creating jobs while preventing extinctions.

“We applaud the incredible bipartisan leadership of Senator Heinrich and Senator Blunt, and their House partners Rep. Dingell and Rep. Fortenberry, who are all demonstrating once again that wildlife conservation can unite all Americans.”

“The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is grateful for the leadership of Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Co-Chair Sen. Martin Heinrich and CSC Member Sen. Blunt for introducing the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act,” said the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s Jeff Crane. “This 21st century, proactive conservation initiative is critical to turning the corner on fish and wildlife conservation before more costly measures are necessary.”

“Fish and wildlife need healthy habitats to thrive — enhancing our lives, supporting good jobs, and providing many other benefits,” said Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops. “State fish and wildlife agencies have a solid track record of accomplishing remarkable recovery and restoration successes, but to ensure diverse fish and wildlife resources thrive for future generations we must restore habitat all across America by passing the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.”

The Senate version of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act largely mirrors the bipartisan House bill, while leveraging funds from penalties paid by polluters and those convicted of environmental crimes to restore and reconnect degraded habitat, remove invasive species, confront wildlife disease, and bolster resilience to climate impacts.

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White-Nose Syndrome Has Killed 90% of Three Bat Species

May 17,2012 Wildlife Management Institute

A new study in the journal Conservation Biology reports that white-nose syndrome has killed 90% of northern long-eared, little brown, and tri-colored bats in North America in just the last 10 years. The study is based on findings of collaborators gathered over 23 years and compiled through the North American Bat Modeling Program (NABat). The program is part of a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey to provide the infrastructure and coordinating efforts that support continental-scale data to inform the management of white-nosed syndrome and other threats to bats.

“The impacts of white-nose syndrome on bat populations have been swift and severe, but we are not without hope,” said Jeremy Coleman, national white-nose syndrome coordinator for the Service and an author on the paper. “Through strong collaborative efforts like this analysis, we continue to learn more about the dynamics of this disease and we will build the infrastructure we need to conserve native bats for future generations.”

Limited multi-state, range-wide analyses of once common bat species have made it difficult to understand the role of local populations in overall species viability. Ongoing declines in northern long-eared bats led the Service to protect the species under the Endangered Species Act and to initiate reviews of little brown bats and tricolored bats. Individual states and Canada have also enacted additional protections for bats.

“With this collaborative study, we clearly illuminate the scale of the loss resulting from white-nose syndrome, which is both quantitatively severe and geographically pervasive,” said Carl Herzog, senior wildlife biologist for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and an author on the paper. “The story it tells is grim, to be sure, but having a clear view of what we are up against is an important precursor to mounting an effective management response.”

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Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Introduced

April 22, 2021         Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies strongly supports the introduction of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 2773) in the House today.  This bipartisan legislation will dedicate $1.3 billion annually to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement their science-based wildlife action plans and an additional $97.5 million for tribal fish and wildlife managers to conserve fish and wildlife on tribal lands and waters. This existing revenue stream will allow state fish and wildlife agencies to implement proactive solutions to conserve those species in greatest need and prevent wildlife from becoming threatened or endangered without increasing taxes. The Association would like to thank Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) for their leadership on this bill.

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