12 Days of Conservation Successes

Giving us Reasons to Wish You a Merry #Fishmas!

Amanda Smith from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, gives us a fun countdown of successes in the Pacific Region.

Twelve Days of #Fishmas:

’Twas the night before Fishmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a Greater sage-grouse;
The conservation plans were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that biologists soon would be there;
The albatross chicks were nestled all snug in their nests;
While visions of Wisdom danced in their heads…

Okay, so perhaps we don’t have a penchant for yuletide poetry. But we do have an affinity for conservation. And there was a lot to love in 2016. From putting more more monarch butterflies and Hawaiian crows in the sky to adding millions of salmon to our waterways, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked with our partners to ensure that future generations of wildlife and people have a healthy place to live. So top off your eggnog, put another round of chestnuts on the open fire, and have a very Merry Fishmas with a look back at some of our favorite conservation moments of this year!

On the 1st Day of Fishmas….

On the first day of #fishmas, Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge gave to us ONE hard working mom! Being a parent is tough and being the world’s oldest bird still laying eggs in the wild is extraordinary! Get to know Wisdom — the 66 year old bird mom making headlines across the world — and stay tuned here each day as we look back at some of our top 12 conservation moments of 2016! bit.ly/2hiGRaX

On the second day of Fishmas…

On the second day of #Fishmas, collaboration gave to us TWO National Wildlife Refuges working together to downlist the Columbian white-tailed deer from endangered to threatened. The combined efforts between the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, states of Washington and Oregon, conservation groups, volunteers and the Service have reduced threats and secured populations of deer. The announcement took place at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, illuminating the essential role that Ridgefield NWR and Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-Tailed Deer played in the recovery of the deer. http://bit.ly/CWTDEvent

On the third day of Fishmas…

On the third day of #fishmas, our Office of Law Enforcement gave to us THREE convictions for illegal wildlife trafficking as a part of Operation Pongo. Protecting wildlife is tough and takes a lot of undercover work. Read all about this case at http://bit.ly/2hvLPRp in Portland Monthly Magazine.

On the 4th day of Fishmas….

On the 4th day of #Fishmas, National Wildlife Refuges gave to us FOUR marine national monuments in the Pacific Ocean, including the world’s largest marine protected area, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. With the expansion of Papahānaumokuākea, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now manages the largest system of lands and waters set aside for the conservation of wildlife and wild places — over 852 million acres. Read the full story here: http://bit.ly/2hPEoYu

On the fifth day of Fishmas….

On the 5th day of #Fishmas partnership gave to us nearly FIVE million sagebrush seedlings for sagebrush habitat restoration! The U.S. Forest Service’s Lucky Peak Nursery, based near Boise, Idaho, is making a difference to agencies’ efforts to restore sagebrush habitat. Since fall 2015, the nursery has grown 4.7 million sagebrush seedlings that are being replanted at the U.S. Army Yakima Training Center in Washington and USFS and Bureau of Land Management managed public lands in Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon. Lucky Peak Nursery will be growing the seeds for the South Fork Boise River Post-Fire Restoration Project. Planting of sagebrush and bitterbrush will occur in FY17, benefitting sage-grouse habitat as well as big game winter range in the sagebrush steppe. Partners on this project are Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG).#SagebrushSaturday #350Species

On the sixth day of Fishmas….

On the 6th day of #Fishmas, conservation gave to us SIX wildlife biologists translocating bull trout into the Clackamas River. This is the sixth year of an ongoing effort to secure a population of bull trout, previously extirpated, in this watershed. Read this comeback story here: http://bit.ly/24Wf7cz

On the seventh day of Fishmas…

On the 7th day of #Fishmas, education gave to us a SEVEN HUNDRED mile journey for monarchs! Students from Sisters Middle School in Central Oregon got great news last month: One of the two monarch butterflies hatched and released from their class was identified in Southern California! The students tagged a male monarch on September 17th. On November 11th, this beautiful orange and black butterfly wearing tag No. A6504, was spotted in an overwintering colony at Carpinteria, a town just north of Ventura. According to monarch advocates, this is the furthest south a monarch tagged in the Pacific Northwest has ever been found! Read about this incredible journey: http://bit.ly/2h41ivf

On the eighth day of Fishmas…

On the 8th day of #fishmas, reverence gave to us EIGHT speakers at the event honoring the life and impact of Native American tribal treaty and fishing rights leader Billy Frank Jr. In 2016, the Service named Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge in honor of the late Nisqually Tribal member and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree. Read more about his legacy at http://bit.ly/29PDR0Y.

On the 9th day of Fishmas…

Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery in Washington State gave to us nearly NINE million baby salmon! There are thousands of hatcheries in the United States, including those run by state, local, and Tribal entities. Each of these hatcheries make a vital economic, cultural, and recreational contribution to our country and ensure that future generations of Americans enjoy future generations of fish. Get behind the scenes at a National Fish Hatchery here: http://bit.ly/fishhatchmap

On the tenth day of Fishmas…

On the 10th day of #fishmas, we had a group of 10 fishers released on Mt. Rainier. The return of the fishers to Washington for the first time in decades is the result of collaborative conservation efforts by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, National Park Service, Conservation Northwest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nisqually Tribe and many other partners. Congratulations to everyone who made it happen.

On the 11th day of Fishmas…

On the eleventh day Fishmas collaboration gave to us sagebrush conservation in ELEVEN states! The 11 western states with sagebrush-steppe habitat and sage grouse are: Oregon, Washington, California (northern), Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, North and South Dakota. The sagebrush ecosystem is one of the most imperiled in the U.S. At one time, it spread over 62 million hectares (240,000 square miles) of the west, but today has shrunk to almost half, with 56 percent remaining. That loss comes from conversion to conifer woodlands, exotic annual and introduced grasses, croplands, and human developments.

Today’s focus on saving sage grouse strongholds represents a historic opportunity to conserve and revitalize what remains, working cooperatively to achieve win-win solutions for people and wildlife.

On the twelfth day of Fishmas…

On the 12th day of #fishmas, the Service awarded $12 million in grants to Hawaii, Oregon and Washington to protect threatened and endangered species. The grants will enable states to work with private landowners, conservation groups and other government agencies to develop projects that protect federally listed species and their habitats. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2hhKZuM

Thanks for joining in our conservation countdown — and tolerating our attempt at caroling. From our Service family to yours, we hope your holidays are filled with cheer and we wish you a very Merry Fishmas!

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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We’re dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats.

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