Images of a western snowy plover, a California tiger salamander, a Coho salmon, and a San Joaquin kit fox

New Video Series and Website Help Tell the Story of California’s Vulnerable Species

According to a 2019 United Nations report on species extinction, an estimated one million animal and plant species worldwide are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history. Still, there is plenty we can do to address the challenges facing listed species. Several state and federal natural resource agencies recently partnered to produce a video series and educational website highlighting successful conservation efforts to preserve some of California’s threatened and endangered species.

Saving Species Together, a joint project between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  Fisheries, illustrates how resource agencies, private landowners, non-profits and citizens have come together to help some of California’s vulnerable species. A half-hour program compiled from the videos will be airing on PBS starting in November as well.

The four listed species to be highlighted by Saving Species Together include:

  • Western snowy plover: Resource managers and volunteers help protect and restore habitat for the western snowy plover at Point Reyes National Seashore and the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area, South Spit Humboldt Bay.
  • Coho salmon: Coho specialists from a timber company, a non-profit and NOAA Fisheries help juvenile Coho salmon in the Eel River Watershed.
  • San Joaquin kit fox: Resource managers, non-profits and a solar company find ways to protect the endangered San Joaquin kit fox in urban environments and on a 26,500-acre preserve in the Central Valley.
  • California tiger salamander: Resource managers, private developers and biological consultants work together to protect the California tiger salamander in native habitat in northern California grasslands.

The SavingSpeciesTogether.org website is hosted by CDFW. It includes the videos, information about the featured species, information on what private landowners and the public can do to help listed species, campaign outreach materials and many other resources.

The videos were produced by Full Frame Productions. The program was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation with community service funds paid by the defendant in a securities fraud case captioned as United States of America v. Wildlife Management, LLC (N.D. California).

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Media Contact:
Bridget Kennedy, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 502-7472

Advanced Hunter Ed Clinics for 2017 Now Online

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program has begun to schedule its clinics for 2017. So far, next year’s roster includes Wilderness First Aid, Wild Turkey Hunting, Deer Hunting, Big Game Packing and Land Navigation. Some spaces are also still available for the few remaining 2016 clinics (Wild Game Cooking, Waterfowl Hunting, Wilderness First Aid and Wild Pig Hunting).

More clinics will be scheduled in the coming weeks, including three that will be offered for the first time: Wilderness Survival, Hunting with Air Guns and Game Processing.

Hunting clinics are beneficial both for new hunters and those who just want to try something new. A typical clinic might cover a range of topics including natural history, biology, hunting opportunities, applying for hunts, game care and game processing.

Clinics are open to students of all skill levels and ages, from beginner to advanced. Participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. All clinics are free, but participants must pre-register. Space is limited in each clinic and signups are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

To find out more about class offerings and to register, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/huntered/advanced/. Classes will be added to the schedule throughout the year, so check back frequently. Clinics will open for registration approximately three months prior to the class.

For more information, please contact Lt. Alan Gregory at (209) 274-9923.

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Media Contacts:
Lt. Alan Gregory, CDFW Law Enforcement, (209) 274-9923
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Grand Opening of San Joaquin River Parkway Trail in Fresno County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and partners are pleased to announce the opening of a new link of the San Joaquin River Parkway Trail, part of the Friant Interactive Nature Site (FINS), and new outdoor educational facilities at the San Joaquin Fish Hatchery. The trail stretches nearly a mile from the community of Friant to Lost Lake Recreation Area in Fresno County.

FINS was constructed in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources and the San Joaquin River Conservancy.

“We accomplish a lot when we all work together,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “To me, this new link of the trail signifies our connection to the outdoors. It connects the public to nature, providing environmental educational opportunities that we can all be proud of for generations to come. Thank you to the partners and volunteers for their work on this important part of the trail.”

FINS includes a new parking lot located on Friant Road to serve school buses and other visitors, an outdoor classroom, trailhead facilities, interpretive exhibits and the following:

  • Small Fry Children’s Trail and “Stormy Creek” — A play area and educational introduction to ecosystems, encouraging children to learn about the life of a trout while enjoying nature. “Stormy Creek” demonstrates a bio-swale, which is a landscaped area designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water before entering a river system like the San Joaquin River.
  • San Joaquin Hatchery— conveniently located for tourists, visitors and Friant residents, offers free visitation and public viewing of the life stages of a trout.
  • Salmon Conservation and Research Facility — Construction is slated to begin within the next year on a state-of-the-art $23.7 million fisheries facility that will produce spring-run Chinook salmon for reintroduction to the San Joaquin River.

Funding for the $3.38 million project was provided by the San Joaquin River Conservancy with approval of the California Wildlife Conservation Board, using state bond funds from the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Fund of 2006 (Proposition 84) and the Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2002 (Proposition 40).

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Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Steve Gonzalez, CDFW Communications, (916) 715-9072

Registration Opens for Nature Bowl Science and Conservation Program

Media Contacts:
Bruce Forman, DFG Interpretive Services, (916) 358-2353 or (916) 591-1161
Kyle Orr, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8958

Registration is open for the 29th annual Nature Bowl, an elementary school activity-based competition held each spring for students in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra foothills.

The program is coordinated by the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), and local organizations and agencies to increase science and conservation literacy of third- to sixth-grade students.

Participants employ teamwork, creativity and critical thinking while participating in group-learning activities centered on local and regional natural environments. It is open to students from interested schools or organized youth clubs.

Teachers, youth group leaders or parents can sign up to coach a team. The entry fee for each team is $20 and includes materials.

Workshops are scheduled in January for Nature Bowl coaches to integrate environmental science concepts and conservation information into classroom curriculum. New coaches are encouraged to attend one of these workshops.

The semifinals will be between mid-March and mid-May at several locations, including: Nimbus Hatchery in Rancho Cordova; Stone Lakes Refuge in Elk Grove; Gibson Ranch in Elverta; Sierra College in Rocklin; Placer Nature Center in Auburn; American River Nature Center in Coloma; New Melones Lake in Angels Camp, and at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area in Davis.

Teams consist of three to seven children each with the top scoring teams advancing to the finals that will be held at California State University, Sacramento on May 18, 2013.

For more information about the Nature Bowl, please call DFG at (916) 358-2869 or visit http://www.dfg.ca.gov/regions/2/naturebowl.

DFG Staff Win Top Awards for Excellence in Communications

Media Contact:
Jordan Traverso, DFG Communications, (916) 654-9937

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has captured 19 awards in the State Information Officers Council’s (SIOC) statewide competition for excellence in government communications. DFG earned eight gold awards, three silver and eight honorable mentions, making it the top winner of the year’s competition.

Gold Awards (Category):
  Outdoor California, January-February issue (Magazine)
  Outdoor California, September-October issue (Special Publication)
  “I’m With the Band” t-shirt design (Promotional Device)
  Mountain Lion Capture (Photography)
  Public Safety Wildlife Video (Training DVD or Documentary)
  “Cougar Population Declines” (Opinion)
  “Wildlife Experts Issue Warning about Controlling Rodent Pests with Poison” (News Release)
  California Outdoors Q&A Column (Other Web Resources)

Silver Awards:
  Outdoor California, November-December issue (Calendar)
  2010 Warden Stamp design (Promotional Device)
  “Could the Gulf Happen Here?” (Poster)

Honorable Mentions:
 
“Understanding the Predator-and-Prey Relationship” (Feature)
  “Through the Gates of Spenceville Wildlife Area” (Feature)
  “Southern Sea Otters: Stuck in Recovery” (Feature)
  “Guarding the Port of Entry” (Feature)
  “A Spirit of Cooperation: 20 years of Prevention in California” (Feature)
  “Beneficial Bats Battle Bad Image . . . and a New Threat” (News Release)
  “What Wardens Do: Marijuana Eradication” (Outreach and Education DVD)
  “Preventing the Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease” (Outreach and Education DVD) 

Individual DFG communications professionals honored included Information Officers Dana Michaels, Kyle Orr and Carol Singleton; Graphic Designer Meredith Fleener; Videographer Matt Elyash; Marketing Specialists Harry Morse and Troy Swauger; Supervising Information Officer Kirsten Macintyre; Associate Biologist Carrie Wilson; and Staff Services Manager Alexia Retallack.

Also named on the awards as co-authors or co-producers were DFG Warden Patrick Foy and Captain Mark Lucero, and DFG biologists David A. Jessup and Doug Updike.

The annual SIOC awards competition honors employees of state agencies and departments for their achievements in media relations, audio-visual production and more. Contest entrants included state information officers, public relations representatives and other government communications experts.

Also of note, Associate Biologist Carrie Wilson was recently awarded two top honors from the Outdoor Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization for professional outdoor communicators from California and surrounding western states. Wilson received a second place award in the Best Freelance Work category for her feature article “Injured Women Veterans Celebrated with Pig Hunt.” She also received a third place in the Best Website category for her California Outdoors Q&A column.