Jack Rabbit, Texas-Photo Credit Chase Fountain

Burrowing Owl, Nevada - Photo Credit Tim Torrell

Eyed Trout Eggs, Tonto Creek Hatchery AZ - Photo Credit George Andrejko

Humpback Whales, Orca, Alaska - Photo Credit Sandstrom, Riley Woodford

 
 
 

News

 
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Sep 16

Grants Benefiting Native Trout Watersheds Awarded in Six Western States

The Western Native Trout Initiative (WTNI) is awarding more than $200,000 in grant funding for eight projects benefiting native trout species across the Pacific Northwest. 


Aug 20

ON THE HORIZON- News From WAFWA August 2019: Issue 19

Western Native Trout Initiative (WTNI) receives $432K grant from the Resource Legacy Fund to further restoration projects in the Northwest and much more in this month's newsletter. 


Aug 13

WNTI Receives $432K Grant from Resources Legacy Fund

Resources Legacy Fund is once again partnering with the Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) through the Open Rivers Fund to reconnect parts of the Upper Bear River in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. The continued partnership will benefit Bonneville cutthroat trout, recreational fishing, and ranchers who divert water for irrigation. The partnership will ultimately fund ten restoration projects that will remove nine diversion dams, four additional barriers and restore stream and riparian habitat. This year’s grant of $432,000 is the second grant received by WNTI since last summer.

                                   

The projects funded through the Open Rivers Fund are expected to be completed by September 2020. The Open Rivers Fund is a 10-year, $50 million program of Resources Legacy Fund, supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It supports local community efforts to remove obsolete dams, modernize infrastructure, and restore rivers across the West. Resources Legacy Fund works with donors to create significant outcomes for the environment and for people.

 

Funds from this year’s $432,000 grant will be used to replace two diversion dams, a perched culvert, and engineering assessments to remove a large concrete dam and two additional rock dams from six sites in the Upper Bear River basin. Activities supported by the grant will open an additional 47.35 river miles, restore over 3,500 feet of stream and riverine habitat, reduce bank erosion and sedimentation, eliminate entrainment of fish, and provide engineering assessments for two critical projects to remove aging infrastructure. WNTI’s on the ground partners for the 2019 projects are Wyoming Game and Fish Department, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Trout Unlimited.

 

“Resources Legacy Fund’s partnership with the Western Native Trout Initiative proves it is possible to give landowners better irrigation while reconnecting rivers for fish,” said Julie Turrini, the Director of Lands, Rivers, and Communities at Resources Legacy Fund who oversees the Open Rivers Fund. “We are proud to continue to support this important work.”

 

Multiple irrigation diversion structures and other barriers fragment the Upper Bear River drainage, which spans Northern Utah, Southeast Idaho, and Southwest Wyoming.  WNTI is working with many partners to remove and replace aging infrastructure in order to protect Bonneville cutthroat trout strongholds, restore habitat connectivity, and open up access to high-quality upstream habitats and cold, clean water on both public and private lands.

 

“We are thrilled to continue the collaboration between WNTI and Resources Legacy Fund to benefit native fish, landowners, and recreationists in the Upper Bear River drainage,” said WNTI Coordinator Therese Thompson. “We completed the projects funded by the Open Rivers Fund last year and these new projects build upon those successes. These landscape-scale recovery efforts are complex and require collaboration from committed partners in both the public and private sectors.”

 

WNTI is a program of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and a recognized National Fish Habitat Partnership that works to cooperatively restore and recover 21 western native trout and char species and sub-species across their historic range. The program funds efforts that raise awareness of the importance of native trout and focus limited financial and human resources toward the highest-impact, locally-led, on-the-ground projects.  Since its inception in 2006, WNTI has directed more than $35 million in federal, public and private funds to support 147 priority native trout conservation projects. WNTI and partners have removed 96 barriers to fish passage, reconnected or improved 1,199 miles of native trout habitat, and put in place 35 protective fish barriers to conserve important native trout populations.

 

WAFWA news releases available at http://www.wafwa.org/news/

Photo Credit: Tyler Coleman

Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has advanced conservation in western North America. Representing 24 western states and Canadian provinces, WAFWA’s reach encompasses more than 40 percent of North America, including two-thirds of the United States. Drawing on the knowledge of scientists across the West, WAFWA is recognized as the expert source for information and analysis about western wildlife. WAFWA supports sound resource management and building partnerships at all levels to conserve wildlife for the use and benefit of all citizens, now and in the future.


Aug 05

Grants Benefiting Native Trout Awarded in Six Western States

The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) has awarded $19,750 out of its small grant program for five projects in six states, which will be matched by $115,800 in other public and private funding. More than $135,550 in conservation efforts benefitting western native trout will occur as a result.

“We’re very grateful to our partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rocky Mountain Flyathlon, RepYourWater, Basin+Bend, California Fly Fishers Unlimited, Sierra Pacific Fly Fishers, and all our individual donors for supporting our 2019 Small Grants Program,” said Therese Thompson, WNTI Project Coordinator. “The community-based projects were selected because of their emphasis on citizen science and outreach to help address challenges facing the restoration and recovery of western native trout.”

Project summaries:

 

Alaska: Going to Extremes: Exploring the Northern Extent of Alaskan Trout Species                           $4,750

Applicant: Copper River Watershed Project

 

This project will implement up to five field trips for 75 local students in the region to learn more about native trout species ecology and biology, in particular Coastal Cutthroat Trout on the Copper River Delta and rainbow trout in the upper Copper Basin (additional species include Dolly Varden, Arctic Grayling, and other salmonids).

 

 

California: West Hills College Coalinga Citizen & Undergraduate Science Project                                  $5,000

Applicant: West Hills College Coalinga

 

This project educates 141 students and citizens on Coastal Cutthroat Trout through guided undergraduate level research and delivery of findings at a conference.  This project is supported by

a comprehensive network of collaborators including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Park Service, and the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative.

 

Colorado: The Greenback Cutthroat Trout Exhibit                                                                                              $2,500

Applicant: Friends of El Paso County Nature Centers

 

Bear Creek Nature Center will add a new interpretive panel to the existing Greenback Cutthroat Trout exhibit that will address recent public questions to help better educate the public about this threatened species.

 

 

Montana/Wyoming: Yellowstone Fly Fishing Volunteer Program                                                                $5,000

Applicant: Yellowstone Forever Foundation

 

The objective of the Yellowstone Fly Fishing Volunteers Program is to engage volunteer anglers in collecting biologist data on Yellowstone’s Arctic Grayling, Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout fish populations to support the research and management efforts of the Yellowstone fisheries staff.

 

New Mexico: Willow Creek Habitat Monitoring                                                                                                  $2,500 Applicant: Gila/Rio Grande Chapter of Trout Unlimited and James Brooks

 

Grant funds support volunteer and undergraduate student training and sampling efforts that support two previous WNTI funded projects on Willow Creek in the Gila National Forest, to benefit Gila Trout after the 2012 Whitewater-Baldy wildfire.

 

The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) is a program of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and a nationally recognized partnership under the National Fish Habitat Partnership program that works cooperatively across 12 Western states to conserve (protect, restore, and recover) 21 native trout and char species across their historic range. Since its inception in 2006, WNTI has directed more than $35 million in federal, public and private funds to support 147 priority native trout conservation projects. WNTI and partners have removed 96 barriers to fish passage, reconnected or improved 1,199 miles of native trout habitat, and put in place 35 protective fish barriers to conserve important native trout populations.

 

For more information about the Small Grants Program, visit www.westernnativetrout.org

WAFWA news releases available at http://www.wafwa.org/news/

 

Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has advanced conservation in western North America. Representing 24 western states and Canadian provinces, WAFWA’s reach encompasses more than 40 percent of North America, including two-thirds of the United States. Drawing on the knowledge of scientists across the West, WAFWA is recognized as the expert source for information and analysis about western wildlife. WAFWA supports sound resource management and building partnerships at all levels to conserve wildlife for the use and benefit of all citizens, now and in the future.


Aug 01

2018 Annual Report

An annual report looking at the milestones WAFWA made in 2018, and where we are headed this year. 


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