Posted in Uncategorized

August 26, 2015 – The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Wildlife Diversity Program is seeking comments on its revised strategic conservation plan. The 300-plus page plan, better known as the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS), identifies nongame research and conservation needs in each of Oklahoma’s ecological regions.

The Prothonotary Warbler, found along wooded streams and rivers in eastern Oklahoma is just one of 298 "species of greatest conservation need" designated by the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. (USFWS Northeast Region)

The Prothonotary Warbler, found along wooded streams and rivers in eastern Oklahoma is just one of 298 “species of greatest conservation need” designated by the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. (USFWS Northeast Region)

Mark Howery, wildlife diversity biologist and project leader for the CWCS revision said, “This public review is an important part of our revision process. It provides wildlife enthusiasts with a chance to weigh-in on conservation issues in their region and identify potential solutions.”

The conservation strategy dedicates a chapter to each of the state’s seven major ecological regions and their respective habitat types or conservation landscapes.

“Each regional chapter is designed to be a stand-alone document. We feel this makes the strategy more user-friendly. If the Wildlife Department, one of our partners, or a private landowner is managing a property in the mixed-grass prairie region, he or she can refer to that chapter in the conservation strategy to find the status of rare and declining species in the area, conservation issues specific to the region, and a list of actions to potentially address those issues,” Howery said.

Wildlife diversity biologists will be on hand Sept. 3, 2015 at the Arcadia Conservation Education Area from 7-8 p.m. to answer questions about the conservation strategy revision and to take public comments. Comments regarding the revised conservation plan may be sent to Mark Howery at mark.howery@odwc.ok.gov. Comments will be accepted and incorporated into the plan through Sept. 17, 2015.

Conservation Strategy Background
Originally developed in 2005 as part of the national State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program, this strategic conservation plan outlines the conservation needs of Oklahoma’s rare and declining wildlife that are designated as “species of greatest conservation need.” Federal cost-share funding, made available through the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program, is offered to state wildlife agencies with approved conservation strategies to manage, research and monitor these species and their habitats. To date, 86 projects totaling over $11 million, have been funded in our state through the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program. Final reports of completed projects can be found at wildlifedepartment.com.