Martha Williams Nominated to be Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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CORFA thanks NWRA and specifically Caroliine Brouwer, Vice President of Government Affairs, for letting us share their blog. 

President Joe Biden has nominated Martha Williams to be the 23rd Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge Association is proud to support Martha Williams, who has been acting as Director since January 20th, and looks forward to supporting her confirmation in the Senate. 

“Acting Director Williams has been a huge champion for the National Wildlife Refuge System since she joined the Biden Administration,” said Geoffrey L. Haskett, President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. “From her work to increase the President’s funding request for the Refuge System to her support of wildlife conservation and land protection at refuges from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument to expanding refuges under the President’s leadership in the America the Beautiful Initiative, we believe that she will continue to support refuge staff and land protection during her tenure as Director.” 

“Acting Director Williams has been a huge champion for the National Wildlife Refuge System since she joined the Biden Administration,” said Geoffrey L. Haskett, President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. “From her work to increase the President’s funding request for the Refuge System to her support of wildlife conservation and land protection at refuges from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument to expanding refuges under the President’s leadership in the America the Beautiful Initiative, we believe that she will continue to support refuge staff and land protection during her tenure as Director.” 

When President Biden took office the National Wildlife Refuge Association prepared a Transition Report with various recommendations for the new administration to address. Finding someone ideal for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director position was one of our top priorities for the administration. 

We strongly recommend that the Senate swiftly confirm Martha Williams as the next DIrector of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Survey about Webinars: What Else You Shared!

CORFA logo with a wordcloud

This is the third and final blog on what we learned from our recent survey about webinar topics. Thank you to the 88 people who responded to the survey and for all your thoughtful comments. CORFA is all about Friends helping Friends so if you see a topic listed that you or your Friends group has some experience and expertise with, please let us know at coalitionrefugefriends@gmail.com, we’d love your help.

The graphic above depicts some of the most common topics that Friends mentioned in the tell us more section of the survey. These topics are listed in order of the number of times they were mentioned. What we hear is the Friends are looking for information on:

  • Fundraising with specific requests for training on capital campaigns and bequests as well as virtual fundraising.
  • Board and Volunteer recruitment along with community outreach. The survey tells us that we have work to do to build the boards and organizations that represent our communities and reach out to all members of those communities and welcome them to our refuges/hatcheries.
  • Strengthening partnerships with the refuge was mentioned several times. One goal of our webinars is to provide opportunities to learn more about our partners’ program, don’t forget there are other resources as well. The FWS Friends Mentoring program is targeted at strengthening partnerships. The next round of applications for Mentoring is expected right after Labor Day and we will be doing a webinar on mentoring and the application process closer to that date.
  • Finance, earlier this year two webinars were presented. You can access the recordings of those and all the webinars we’ve presented in the Resource Center tab on this website.
  • Stores, online stores, and inventory were also mentioned. Are you aware that CORFA has a Facebook group for retail that is very responsive to questions. We have also talked about starting some informal discussion groups one of which could center around topics related to stores. We’re looking for volunteers to help with this effort.
  • Collaboration with other Friends groups, we don’t get together often enough at the regional or national level. We are cooking up some ideas for Friends gatherings—probably virtual for now.
  • And finally what time of day should the webinars be offered? People who work during the day are not able to attend live. We are at a loss as to when we could present the webinars so that everyone who wants to participate live, can do that. Our refuge and hatcheries Friends groups span 9 time zones and the International Dateline. If you have suggestions, let us know.

While we try to provide a wide range of training specific to Friends groups, again, we are not the only resource. Someone asked for training on wildlife and environment. Someone else was concerned about hunting on refuges. That is not in our wheelhouse but there are many workshops and trainings available through FWS’s National Conservation Training Center, most of which can be paid for by FWS scholarships. Talk to your Regional Friends Coordinator about training in the topics you are interested in.

We are searching for Friends groups with expertise in all of these topics. If you are interested in sharing your experiences and expertise please contact us at coalitionrefugefriends@gmail.com.

You gave us so much valuable information and we are trying to make good use of it to provide you with the training you want and need. Thank you!

Be sure to join the CORFA Facebook group and NWRA Friends contacts (E-Newsletter and Advocacy and Webinar invitations)

Continue ReadingSurvey about Webinars: What Else You Shared!