Western Division Officer Elections

Now is the time to vote for the incoming Vice President and Student Representative positions on the Western Division Executive Committee.  The Student Representative is a one year position serving as a non-voting liaison between students and the Division.  There are five candidates for the position this year and their biographies are posted on the voting website.  The Vice President is a one year position that automatically advances to the office of President-Elect, then to President, and then to Past President at the end of each year; therefore, it is a four year commitment.  There is one candidate for the position this year.

Only members in good-standing may vote and only students can vote for the Student Representative.  Voting
is completed online via SurveyMonkey.  Voting will be open until August 8.  Vote for the Vice President at:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CMWQXJZ

and the Student Representative at:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/C3VYPQZ

University of Montana Professor Involved in Tragedy

As many of you may know, Dr. Fred Allendorf has been through a tragedy.  On February 28, an avalanche was triggered in a gully on Mount Jumbo that ends at the home where Fred, Michel (his wife), and children have lived for over 20 years.  The avalanche demolished the home, and buried Fred, Michel, and an 8 year old boy from a neighboring house.  All three people were recovered from the snow and wreckage in the following hours, and rushed to the hospital.  The boy, Phoenix, was released from the hospital.  Fred remained in serious condition with 17 broken ribs, several broken vertebrae, and some internal bleeding, but prospects for his recovery at the time were good.  Sadly, Michel passed away two days after the tragic accident.

Fred has been a Regents Professor Emeritus in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana.  His research interests are evolution, population genetics, and conservation biology, and his primary current focus is on the application of genetics to the conservation of animals and plants.  He and co-authors have written a well-known conservation genetics book (Conservation and the Genetics of Populations) that is published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Fred is currently doing well and is living with his daughter in Mazomanie, Wisconsin where he continues to heal from his injuries.  His physical injuries are healing slowly, and it may take considerable time for him to recover from some nerve damage to his foot.  The good news is that he we will be moving back to Missoula and is making plans to teach a conservation genetics course in Costa Rica this month.  In addition, there has been a wave of support for Fred from people all over the world.  This support is critical because Fred lost literally everything in his life, and insurance won’t come close to helping him recover.  The “Fred Allendorf Fund” has been established for those wishing to make financial contributions to help Fred and his family recover.

Many members of the Western Division AFS have been impacted by this tragic event and have stepped forward to help where they can.  The Montana Chapter AFS has pledged $4,500 to contribute to the “Fred Allendorf Fund.”

To further support this effort, the Western Division AFS has created a fund to supplement the “Fred Allendorf Fund”.  We encourage our membership to open their hearts and contribute.  Please send a check of any size to Travis Neebling (Western Division AFS Secretary/Treasurer) at Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY 82604.  Alternatively, you may donate online through the PayPal donate button to the right (please type Fred Allendorf in the special comments box).

The Division is looking for a new Student Representative

This role is an excellent opportunity to learn more about how WDAFS operates and how AFS can play an important part in your career and that of other students.  The Student Representative serves on the Executive Committee as a non-voting liaison between students and the Division.

For more information visit: http://wdafs.org/students/

Riparian Challenge

The Riparian Challenge was established as an annual event to encourage continued on-the-ground accomplishments in riparian habitat management in the region encompassed by the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society. Entries must document riparian habitat management efforts where resource values will be or have been improved within a watershed. Examples of these resource values include, but are not limited to:

• Streambank stability • Recreation/aesthetic qualities • Forage production • Terrestrial wildlife habitat
• Aquatic/fish habitat • Subsurface water supplies • Stream flows • Vegetative diversity and recovery
• Water quality • Education

The Riparian Committee solicited entries from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and other conservation organizations and private industry involved in riparian and watershed habitat management. In 2014, the Committee received 15 applications for projects completed by U.S. Forest Service Ranger Districts, U.S. Bureau of Land Management field offices and other conservation organizations. The four USFS projects included submittals from ranger districts in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. BLM projects included submittals from field offices in California, Oregon, and Colorado. Entries in our other conservation organization category included projects from Idaho, Oregon, Alaska, and California.

The five committee members who participated in reviewing and scoring the project entries included Amy Sacry, Arn Berglund, Corey Lyman, Peter Gruendike, and Troy Brandt. Ms. Sexauer will present the Riparian Challenge Award to recipients during the Western Division business luncheon to be held on April 8, 2014 at the Western Division AFS meeting in Mazatlan, Mexico. The Riparian Committee selected the following projects for the 2014 Riparian Challenge Award.

Other Category Projects – BioEngineering Associates, Inc. in partnership with Odd Fellows Recreation Club for the Lower Russian River Riparian Restoration Project
USFS Projects – Cascade Ranger District, Boise National Forest for the SF Salmon River Watershed Improvement Project
BLM Projects – Klamath Falls Resource Area for the Wood River Wetland Restoration Project – Klamath Falls

The Riparian Committee commented on the diverse projects the Committee received in 2014. We commend entrants for completing high quality projects that involve interdisciplinary teams striving to conserve, enhance, and restore riparian resources. Thank you to all who participated and we look forward to seeing more projects in 2015!