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June 16-21 is National/International Pollinator Week!

This year, 2 pollinator groups will be highlighted during Pollinator Week:  Bats and Hummingbirds.  Please be sure to do a special media/outreach push for Bat pollinators on Wed., June 18th and for Hummingbirds on Sat., June 21st (Summer solstice day).  Partners across the U.S. and the world will be doing the same on those dates – spread the word!

For BATS:

For HUMMINGBIRDS:

Celebrando las Aves Playeras (Celebrate Shorebirds) Project

Celebrando las Aves Playeras (Celebrate Shorebirds) Project

Environment for the Americas (EFTA), the USDA Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management are collaborating in an exciting effort to train Latino youth in community outreach and bird research techniques through the Celebrando las Aves Playeras (Celebrate Shorebirds) Project. Under Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative, EFTA and Federal partners recruited 8 Latino interns to serve as environmental liaisons to local communities, increasing awareness of conservation issues and careers in conservation. Celebrate Shorebirds interns are working in Washington, D.C. with communications and media outreach, in Oregon on research related to sea bird colonies, in Alaska on bird education efforts, and in Colorado and California on field work related to wetland, marsh, and shorebird monitoring. Check out this fantastic cultural-eco-training program at: Environment for the Americas and learn more about birds at BirdDay.org.

State Fish Art Contest!

The Wildlife Forever State Fish Art Contest is underway!

Combining the two disciplines of science and art, the State Fish Art program uses art as a springboard into the watery world of fish, creating future stewards of our lakes, rivers, streams and oceans.

The Fish On! Lesson Plan is written for educators teaching grades four through twelve to help teachers inspire their students to think creatively about fish and water conservation.  It can easily be modified to include K-3 kids.  

Grade school-aged kids can submit fish-themed art and essays by March 31st
Art Contest Winners' work will be showcased at the 2014 State Fish Art Expo in Columbia, South Carolina, August 15th & 16th.

State Fish Art Contest

Celebrando las Aves Playeras (Celebrate Shorebirds) Project

Celebrando las Aves Playeras (Celebrate Shorebirds) Project

Environment for the Americas (EFTA), the USDA Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management are collaborating in an exciting effort to train Latino youth in community outreach and bird research techniques through the Celebrando las Aves Playeras (Celebrate Shorebirds) Project. Under Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative, EFTA and Federal partners recruited 8 Latino interns to serve as environmental liaisons to local communities, increasing awareness of conservation issues and careers in conservation. Celebrate Shorebirds interns are working in Washington, D.C. with communications and media outreach, in Oregon on research related to sea bird colonies, in Alaska on bird education efforts, and in Colorado and California on field work related to wetland, marsh, and shorebird monitoring. Check out this fantastic cultural-eco-training program at: Environment for the Americas and learn more about birds at BirdDay.org.

Ski with a Ranger

Get outside on the mountain and see the beautiful vistas the Forest Service is managing with the Ski With A Ranger Program (SWAR)! SWAR is available four times per week at Lake Tahoe Basin, with a Spanish language tour once a month, SWAR introduces participants to natural resource topics such as: Fuels Reduction & Forest Health, Watershed Restoration & Habitat Improvement, Water Quality Improvement & Erosion Control, and Recreation and Human Responsibilities. This one hour program operates in partnership with Heavenly Ski Resort and the City of South Lake Tahoe, taking visitors on guided tours along pre-planned routes (beginner and intermediate ski runs only).

Ski Ranger

Nick Schmal honored as "Partner in Action" for his dedication to the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers Campaign

Nick Schmal from the Eastern Region office of the Forest Service has been named a “Partner in Action” for his dedication to promoting conservation stewardship through the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers Campaign. Schmal is credited for having a passion for aquatic invasive species prevention that is a cornerstone for the campaign.  The Forest Service has partnered with the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) (www.npaa.net ) to support "Future Angler Events," which help educate new anglers about aquatic invasive species.  Their 2013 events included over 11,000 young anglers and nearly 7,000 adults at over 90 events.

With the introduction of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in the U.S., anglers must be aware of the role they play to help stop the spread of AIS to protect our lakes, streams, and other waterbodies.  Information about how to watch out for and handle aquatic invasive species is available at www.fs.fed.us/invasivespecies,http://www.wildlifeforever.org/invasive-species, and www.seagrant.wisc.edu/home.  Forest Service personnel are also involved in the expansion of portable boat washing stations across National Forest lands in the upper Midwest.  Stations are designed to be used at high traffic boat launches during key times of the year to teach boaters the proper methods to clean their boats to prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species.  Clean, Drain, and Dry is the key to slow the spread of AIS.

Kids with Nick Schmal

Forest Service Hosts First-Ever BatWeek!

Illustrated Bats

Synonymous with a superhero signal in the sky and silhouettes hanging upside down in a darkened cave, bats inspire a long-standing fascination, and with good reason! Bats are vital to healthy ecosystems and human economies worldwide.

That is why the USDA Forest Service has designated October 19-27, 2013, as the first ever BatWeek. We invite you to celebrate by learning about bats, sharing your knowledge with others, and protecting habitat for bats. Following are just a few ways you can be a friend to the bats:

  • Volunteer! You can help protect bats on public lands by helping with bat counts, acoustical monitoring, and much more. Contact your local National Forest to learn more
  • Learn about what fascinating creatures bats are, how they benefit the ecosystem, and the threats they currently face then share this cool information with your friends and family.
  • Install a bat house free plans & tips for attracting bats can be found at: www.batcon.org
  • Create and cultivate bat habitat in your yard by protecting & planting native vegetation, leaving trees standing, and creating small ponds where bats can get a drink.

The Forest Service is an agency leader in bat education and outreach, building a strong coalition of education partners through the BatsLive distance learning project, funding bat conservation efforts in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, and leading research on the causes and control of White-Nose Syndrome.

Submitted by Leah Anderson, USDA Forest Service Region 9