State Wildlife Action Plans: Lessons learned in adapting for an era of climate change - Jul 31

Mark your calendars for the next AFWA Safeguarding webinar, Wedneday, July 31, 1-2:30pm Eastern.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Wildlife Federation have developed a series of web conferences to increase communication and transfer of technical information between conservation professionals regarding the increasing challenges from climate change. This program is being facilitated by the USFWS's National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) Applied Landscape Conservation Team.

“State Wildlife Action Plans: lessons learned in adapting for an era of climate change”

 Wednesday, July 31, 1:00-2:30 PM Eastern

 Presenters include:

Naomi Edelson, NWF

Austin Kane, NWF

Chris Hilke, NWF

Patty Glick, NWF

Lynn Helbrecht, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Chris Burkett, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Joe Racette, New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Description: State Wildlife Action Plans are the blueprint in each state for wildlife conservation aimed at preventing wildlife from becoming endangered, and thus will be especially important in an era of climate change.  The Plans are mandated by Congress for revision in 2015.  State wildlife agencies and their many partners (federal, state, NGO, etc.) are working now to update these plans. We showcase the work of several state wildlife agencies to integrate climate change into these Action Plans and share lessons learned.  This information is valuable everyone engaged in conservation planning initiatives.


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This webinar will be recorded and posted

Approximately 1-2 weeks after the presentation is given the webinar will be posted here:

Close captioning will be provided

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Speaker Bios:


Naomi Edelson is the Director, State and Federal Wildlife Partnerships for the National Wildlife Federation under the Safeguarding Wildlife from Climate Change Program.  She leads NWF’s efforts to assist state and federal wildlife agencies with incorporating climate change into their management plans.  She currently co-chairs NWF’s “climate smart conservation expert working group” to develop criteria and guidance for on-the-ground adaptation efforts and recently chaired a similar expert work group on climate change vulnerability assessment that lead to the guidance document “Scanning the Conservation Horizon”) and associated training workshops.

Austin Kane is a Science and Policy Manager for National Wildlife Federation. Austin works with fish and wildlife agencies and other partners to integrate climate change into State Wildlife Action Plans. Austin also specializes in coastal climate change-related efforts, such as developing climate-smart guidance for coastal projects and building state capacity to develop and implement climate adaptation projects. Austin worked as a Science and Policy Analyst with the Environmental Law Institute and as an Assistant Planner for the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources. Austin has a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke and a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia.   

Christopher Hilke is the Climate Change Adaptation Program Manager in the Northeast Regional Office for the National Wildlife Federation.  Christopher is active across the northeastern U.S. in establishing a regional climate adaptation network that includes NWF affiliates, state agencies, and other conservation organizations.   In addition, Christopher works with states to facilitate the incorporation of climate-smart language into natural resource management plans, develop and conduct climate vulnerability assessments and identify adaptation strategies that increase the resiliency and/or adaptive capacity of conservation targets.  In his previous capacity as a community ecologist Christopher established and continues to maintain several long-term ecological research sites monitoring the impacts of long-term climate trends on forest composition in the White Mountain National Forest, NH.     

Patty Glick is the Senior Climate Change Specialist with NWF. Patty Glick has more than 20 years experience working on climate change, the last 14 of which have been with the National Wildlife Federation. At a national level, Ms. Glick was lead editor of Scanning the Conservation Horizon: A Guide to Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (Glick et al. 2011), a collaborative effort among state and federal agencies and NGOs that earned the development team a 2011 Partners in Conservation award from the U.S. Department of the Interior. The guide has been the basis for a series of trainings across the country, led by the National Conservation Training Center. She is currently working as a co-editor and author in a follow-on effort to develop broader guidance for climate-smart conservation. In the Pacific Northwest, Ms. Glick led the most comprehensive study to date assessing the vulnerability of the region’s coastal wetland habitats to sea level rise (Glick et al. 2007).

Lynn Helbrecht has served as the Climate Change Coordinator for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) since 2010, and in 2013 also took on the role of State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) Coordinator.  Her duties include integrating climate change science into agency decision making, as well as leading development of the SWAP update.   Prior to her work with WDFW, Lynn was the Executive Coordinator for the Washington Biodiversity Council, a public-private partnership established by Governor Gregroire to promote collaborative approaches to conservation.   

Chris Burkett is the Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  Chris has led his agency’s climate change planning efforts since 2008.  Since completing a climate change adaptation strategy to compliment Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan, Chris has worked extensively with the National Wildlife Federation, Virginia Tech’s Conservation Management Institute, and other partners to implement adaptation research and activities.

Joe Racette is the New York State Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator.  After receiving a BS in Biology/Environmental Studies from St. Lawrence University, Joe worked on wildlife ecology in East Africa for several years.  He has worked for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on water quality and wildlife management in the Adirondack-Lake Champlain region for more than 20 years, including 6 years on State Wildlife Grant-funded projects.