NAWMP Webinar Series: Addressing Societal Benefits in NAWMP Work – Case Studies on Process
Presented by the NAWMP Integration Steering Committee, the purpose of this series of webinars is to share knowledge and experience within the waterfowl conservation community on how habitat conservation efforts can identify and address broad-based societal benefits (ecosystem services, natural values, green infrastructure, natural capital, ecological benefits, etc.). Presenters will address how they identified which benefits to consider, how they obtained and applied the related scientific information, how they employed an adaptive decision approach or framework, and how they communicated benefits to stakeholders. We are hopeful that this will encourage and inspire continued work in this realm, under the banner of “Connecting People, Waterfowl, and Wetlands.”
April 13, 2023, 11a-12p EST
Canadian Bird Habitat Survey
Howie Harshaw, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of Alberta
In the fall of 2022, we conduced a national survey to better understand Canadians' perceptions of, and experiences with, wetlands and other bird habitat settings. We received 3,370 completed responses from people representing the four habitat Joint Venture regions. In this webinar, survey highlights will be presented, including Canadians' familiarity with different wetland types, constraints to wetland visitation, and management actions that might increase visitation. We also asked participants about their pro-environmental behaviors; notably, members of the general public seem less engaged in pro-environmental behaviors than waterfowl hunters and birdwatchers are. We conclude with a discussion of suggestions for increasing wetland visitation and addressing the relevancy of wetlands for people.
Register for April's webinar here!
More topics are in the works, stay tuned! Have an idea for a webinar topic? Please contact us!
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March 9, 2023, 11a-12p EST
Who Will Mind The Marsh? NAWMP’s efforts to sustain the training of future waterfowl and wetland professionals
John Eadie, Ph.D.
Professor, UC Davis Dept. of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology
The NAWMP 2018 Update emphasized connecting people, waterfowl, and wetlands. Fundamental to science and conservation are appropriately trained people. The 2018 Update recognized this need in Recommendation 7: “Bolster training programs for future waterfowl management professionals.” A committee was established to address this recommendation and in 2019 released the North American Waterfowl Professional Education Plan (NAWPEP) which oulined the current state of our professional training, future needs, and some ambitious plans for the future. This webinar will provide an update on the NAWPEP and seek input and discussion on future directions.
February 9, 2023, 11a-12p EST
What are Canadian waterfowl hunters' trip preferences, and how do they compare to those of North American waterfowl hunters?
Howie Harshaw, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of Alberta
We surveyed Canadian waterfowl hunters in November 2016—January 2017 (n = 1280) to better understand their hunting trip preferences using a discrete choice experiment. Canadian waterfowl hunters prefer bigger harvests (six birds), journey times of one hour or less, easy to moderate site access, seeing upwards of 250 birds on shoot days, and experiencing none to medium levels of competition. We identified 6 latent classes of Canadian waterfowl hunters (2 more than we found at a continental scale). We did not identify any significant variation between the classes in terms of the distributions of age, income, number of days hunted, self-identification as a conservationist, and hunting bag preferences. Canadian waterfowl hunter preferences seem to be similar to those of North American waterfowl hunters. Canadian hunters have less strong preferences for six-bird harvests than the lower U.S. states. Although there is variation in preference for harvest size between the flyways at a continental level, this flyway variation is not evident among Canadian waterfowl hunters. Implications for the management of waterfowl hunting in Canada will be discussed, including strategies to increase waterfowl hunting participation.
Dec. 13, 2022, 1-2 PM EST
Exploring Stakeholders’ Support for and Potential Stewardship of Michigan’s Coastal Wildlife Management Areas
Barb Avers, Ph.D.
Waterfowl and Wetland Specialist, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
State wildlife agencies (SWAs) primarily rely on hunter-related funds to pay for wildlife and habitat management at wildlife management areas (WMAs). As hunting participation declines, there are concerns about the future of wildlife conservation support and funding, relevancy of SWAs, and long-term sustainable wildlife management. To address these concerns, there have been recommendations such as increasing and diversifying outdoor recreation opportunities, connecting wildlife conservation to the broader ecosystem services provided by wildlife management actions, and exploration of broad-based funding mechanisms. My recent doctoral research sought to understand the stewardship potential of key stakeholders that use Michigan DNR WMAs that are intensively managed for waterfowl habitat and waterfowl hunting opportunities. During this webinar, I will present results from assessing stakeholder attitudes and preferences for WMA management; investigating stakeholder perceptions of ecosystem services resulting from WMA management; exploring key variables that influence conservation behaviors; and exploring support for a diversity of funding options among WMA stakeholders. I will also present several implications and recommendations for SWAs to consider and how the Michigan DNR is incorporating these findings into its planning and management of WMAs
Nov. 7, 2022, 12-1 PM EST
Choosing an optimal duck season: integrating hunter values and duck abundance
Josh Stiller, Game Bird Wildlife Biologist
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
State wildlife agencies have long struggled to identify optimal duck hunting season dates that meet the diverse and often competing interests of hunters. Many approaches have been used to allow the regulated community to participate in the decision-making process, including public hearings, hunter season-date preference surveys, and hunter task forces or committees. Unfortunately, these methods are typically not data-driven or transparent processes that allow the entire regulated community to participate in the decision-making process. I will discuss how we integrated a human dimensions survey exploring hunter values with spatiotemporal abundance models derived from eBird citizen science data to determine the optimal duck seasons in New York State. All public engagement processes have strengths and weaknesses, and I will discuss what we felt worked well and where there is room for improvement in the next iteration of our structured decision-making process for selecting duck season dates.
May 16, 2022, 2-3 PM EDT
Wetlands for the people: Bird habitat conservation vital for communities
Kali Rush, Regional Biologist, DU
Chris Sebastian, Sustainability Lead and External Affairs Manager, DU Great Lakes//Atlantic Region
Historic rainfall across Michigan in 2020 caused two dams to fail in the middle of the state, creating extreme flooding and forcing more than 10,000 people from their homes. Managers at the recently restored Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge opened the floodgates and were able to fill the entire 10,000-acre basin with 10 feet of floodwater, significantly reducing the flooding impact to surrounding landowners. From coastal erosion protection to groundwater recharge to improved drinking water quality, this webinar will show how wetlands, conserved initially for bird habitat, are crucial to the residents living near them.
April 21, 2022, 12-1 PM EDT
Conserving Atlantic Coast Salt Marshes: Aligning a Species/Habitat Priority and other Public Benefits
Mitch Hartley, PhD
Northeast Coordinator, Atlantic Coast Joint Venture
Starting in 2016 the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture (ACJV) prioritized salt marsh habitat conservation due to rapid declines in habitat conditions and populations of several bird species. The ACJV adopted three flagship species based on conservation concern, geography, and utility as representative species: American Black Duck, Saltmarsh Sparrow, and Black Rail. This species/habitat emphasis was a major shift for the ACJV partnership, but has reaped major benefits. In part, this is due to broad interest in coastal resiliency across the East Coast, and the link between bird habitat conservation and many different public benefits--some of which involve economic benefits and risks worth billions of dollars annually. We will describe how this focus has energized our partnership, resulted in major funding opportunities, and revealed some surprising challenges.
March 3, 2022, 1-2 PM EST
A multi-scale decision support tool to guide implementation of the North American Waterfowl Management plan in WI, USA
Jake Straub, PhD, Research Scientist
Research Foundation for State University of New York (SUNY)
The goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan target a combination of biological and social objectives that are prioritized regionally through Joint Venture partnerships. Local detail is critical for implementing waterfowl habitat delivery and making efficient use of limited funds for conservation. We developed a transparent framework to identify and prioritize landscapes for conserving waterfowl habitat at the Hydrologic Unit Code 12 watershed scale in Wisconsin, by maintaining continental and regional priorities, and including local landscape characteristics, biological and social criteria, and researcher, manager, and biologist expertise. Our models are science-based, transparent, defensible, and can be modified as social, political, biological, and environmental forces change.
November 10, 2021, 1-2 PM EST
NAWCA partnerships and multi-benefit restoration in north San Francisco Bay
Renee Spenst, Ph.D.
Regional Biologist, San Francisco Bay and California Coast
Dr. Renee Spenst will highlight two NAWCA-funded projects in north San Francisco Bay that also provide a broad suite of benefits, including shoreline protection, stormwater filtration, infrastructure protection, and recreational opportunities.
October 15, 2021, 1-2:30 PM EDT
Waterfowl Hunter R3 in Colleges and Universities
Presenters: Mark Horobetz, Manager of Youth and Education Programs, Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
Joel Brice, Chief Conservation Officer, Delta Waterfowl
Lincoln Larson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, North Carolina State University
This webinar will include three presenters who will focus on connecting college and university students to hunting, including efforts to increase demographic diversity. These efforts play an important role in engaging people in waterfowl conservation, either as future waterfowl professionals; citizen supporters, leaders and advocates for conservation; or simply as individuals who benefit from this type of recreational connection to nature. Dr. Lincoln Larson, of North Carolina State University, will present results from human-dimensions research of diverse undergraduate students and their potential for becoming hunters and supporting hunting. Joel Brice, Chief Conservation Officer for Delta Waterfowl, will describe Delta’s University Hunting Program – a dynamic curriculum in which wildlife management students receive instruction and training that culminate in a waterfowl hunt as part of a regularly scheduled wildlife course. Ducks Unlimited’s Manager of Youth and Education Programs, Mark Horobetz, will discuss the success of DU’s collegiate chapter program and how this group of volunteers plays a vital role in outdoor peer to peer mentoring through a variety of platforms.
September 17, 2021, 2-3 PM EDT
H. Carl Gerhardt, Curators’ Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences
Brady Lichtenberg, Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area Manager & Wildlife Biologist, Missouri Department of Conservation
Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area - using wetlands to filter city wastewater, benefitting both nature and people
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020, learn more about how Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area came to be and how both nature and people benefit. Through citizen action, the Conservation Department purchased and developed this 4,431-acre area to help offset the loss of nearly 90 percent of Missouri's historical wetlands The City of Columbia and the Department of Conservation entered into a cooperative agreement that allows the Department to use treated wastewater from the city as a primary water source for the wetlands.
Learn more about Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area and watch the webinar here:
July 29, 2021, 1-2 PM EDT
Billy Gascoigne, Ducks Unlimited
Resource Economist and Environmental Markets Lead
Utilizing Carbon Markets to Further Waterfowl Habitat Delivery: Opportunities, Limitations, and Lessons Learned
Ducks Unlimited has certified and transacted more grassland carbon credits than anyone else in the world to date. While there have been successes along the way worth reviewing, there remain challenges to scaling these ever-changing programs in a way that works for landowners and the conservation community. Hear how DU has navigated the dynamic carbon markets and where opportunities and remaining hurdles lie for utilizing this line of finance for waterfowl habitat conservation.
March 24, 2021, 1-2 PM EDT
Dr. Scott Manley, Ducks Unlimited
Director of Conservation Innovation/ Dir. of Conservation Programs MS, TN, AR, North LA, AL
Rice Stewardship Partnerships
Working ricelands, water, and waterfowl, a critical synergy for priority wintering landscapes across the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, Gulf Coast, and California’s Central Valley.
Join the seminar to learn about the Rice Stewardship Partnership. In 2013, the USA Rice Federation and Ducks Unlimited came together to form the USA Rice-DU Stewardship Partnership. The Partnership works to bring about meaningful and long-term improvements to three of the nation's critical natural and economic resources: waterfowl, working rice lands and water.
To learn more, be sure to visit: https://www.ducks.org/ricestewardship
February 26, 2021, 1 - 2 PM EST
Jacob Bushaw, Two-Tiered Waterfowl Biologist
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Rocco Murano, Senior Waterfowl Biologist
South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks
A 2-tiered duck regulation experiment: Can a simplified regulation option increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation of duck hunters in South Dakota and Nebraska?
Declines in waterfowl hunter participation in the Central Flyway and across North America have been well documented. These declines are a concern for the potential loss off financial and political support for waterfowl conservation and the duck hunting tradition. While the reasons for this decline are many, the ability to identify ducks on the wing has been identified as a potential barrier for prospective duck hunters. Through a partnership with the Central Flyway Council, USFWS, SDGFP, and NGPC we intend to evaluate a “2-tiered” regulation system whereby hunters can choose either a standard package with all species and sex restrictions or a simplified 3 duck limit without restriction.
December 10, 2020 1-2 PM EST
Joy Morris and Laurel Anders, IWJV
Working Wetlands & Water in the West
The Intermountain West Joint Venture’s newest initiative, Water 4, is focused on conserving working wet meadows and water for agriculture, wildlife and fisheries habitat, groundwater recharge, and landscape resiliency in ways that matter to people. Since its launch in January 2019, Water 4 has focused on the geographies of significance to waterfowl and other wetland-dependent birds and effectively moved the needle to increase the pace of conservation on private wetlands and irrigated wet meadows, all of which is directly tied to making conservation work relevant to people. The relevancy to people focus started with IWJV’s early work studying the human dimension aspect of how ranchers view flood irrigation, a practice extremely important to Pacific Flyway waterfowl.
Join the seminar to hear how over the last two years, Water 4 has gained significant traction in ranching, irrigation, fisheries, and landscape resiliency which is resulting in new funding streams for waterfowl habitat conservation in the Intermountain West.– (Water 4) Initiative
November 18, 2020 1-2 PM EST
Dave Howerter and Nigel Simms, DU Canada
The Ripple Effect: Ecological services and the future of Lake Winnipeg
Nowhere are Canada’s water woes more evident than on the often algae-slicked shores of Lake Winnipeg. Runoff from the surrounding landscape is depositing huge amounts of phosphorous into the rivers and streams that feed the lake. The world’s 10th largest freshwater lake is in trouble. A multiphase research project to determine the impacts of wetland loss in the Broughton’s Creek watershed, which feeds into Lake Winnipeg, paints a clear but startling picture: the future of Lake Winnipeg depends on a greater understanding of wetlands and the significant role they play beyond waterfowl. Through its research and communications efforts on ecological services, Ducks Unlimited Canada is engaging political leaders, industry representatives and the public on the essential role of waterfowl habitat conservation in saving Lake Winnipeg, a precious natural resource.
October 15, 2020 1-2 PM EDT
Mike Carter, Coordinator, Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV)
Connecting People and Playas
This is a story about how PLJV linked our playa conservation mission to the consequences of a declining aquifer, which agricultural producers and communities depend upon for their livelihood, and created a venue where solutions are found for both humans and wildlife. From a random survey question in 2006 to a decade of communication campaigns, the effort has benefited from both happenstance to pure focus and determination. In some ways, we muddled along; while in others, we had the opportunity to engage producers through well-funded efforts. In this talk, we follow the timeline of events, relay our thinking along the way and some of the tools we used, give a current project status, and describe where we succeeded and where we still have work to do. In 2020, we continue to expand the work into more areas, adapting the model to fit each situation, which is stretching even PLJV’s vision of implementation.