This article was originally published on the website of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
May 20, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is more important than ever due to persistent threats such as climate change and newly emerging issues like white-nose disease in bats, says Jeremy Bruskotter, a scientist at The Ohio State University. He’s helping host a workshop for professionals on the act.
“Increasing scientific evidence indicates we may be entering a sixth mass extinction,” said Bruskotter, an associate professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. “Therefore, knowledge of the act’s provisions will be increasingly useful for those charged with managing our forests, fisheries and wildlife.” The school is in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
The workshop, featuring talks by university and agency experts, is 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 29 at Ohio State’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus. It’s for anyone who works with or administers the Endangered Species Act as part of his or her job, Bruskotter said.
The deadline to register is this Friday, May 22.
“The Endangered Species Act is a federal law designed to help forestall extinction,” he said. “Though sometimes controversial, it’s proven to be a useful tool for conserving imperiled species.
“However, numerous challenges — habitat loss, fragmentation, disease and climate change — are likely to increase pressure on the act and the agencies that administer it.”
Speaking at the workshop will be:
Bruskotter, “A Brief Introduction to the ESA.”
Scott Haulton of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, “Managing Habitat of Listed Species.”
Angela Boyer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “Update on Bat Listings.” The deadly, spreading white-nose disease, or white-nose syndrome, is decimating North American bat populations.
Jeromy Applegate, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on “Section 7 Consultations.” Section 7 of the act directs federal agencies to coordinate and cooperate so their actions, including projects they fund or authorize, don’t jeopardize any listed species.
Megan Seymour, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on “The Recovery Process.” The act directs the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to establish recovery plans for how threatened and endangered species will be conserved and ultimately recovered.
The speakers also will participate in a panel discussion called “Legal Perspective: Complying with the ESA.”
Registration is $30 and includes breakfast and lunch. Continuing education credit is available. Find details and a link to online registration at go.osu.edu/ESAworkshop.
The workshop’s sponsors are the school’s Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Lab, of which Bruskotter is a member; the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife; and the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program of the college’s outreach arm, Ohio State University Extension.
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Photo caption: The workshop is for natural resource professionals who work with the Endangered Species Act — and with endangered species like this Kirtland’s warbler. (Joel Trick, USFWS.)