Here you can find important announcements concerning Western Section business. In addition, we have set up a Constant Contact mailing list for members and attendees of Section events. If you are not a member, you can sign up for our General Interest mailing list here.

Section Announcements

  • Western Section 2017 Membership Drive Proposal

    Western Section membership voted to increase Regular annual dues from $20 to $30, thereby increasing Student, Early Career Professional, and Retired annual dues to $15 and life membership dues at $675 (22.5 x regular annual dues). This dues increase is effective July 1, 2017.

    Why Did Member Dues Increase?

    Increased membership dues help maintain Western Section’s support of wildlife professionals and wildlife students through our travel grant and research scholarship programs, offering affordable, quality workshops for members and associates, and by maintaining moderate registration rates for professionals, students and early career professionals to attend annual meetings. By a minimal increase in dues, the increasing costs of non-profit business operations — like bookkeeping and accounting services, liability insurance, and administrative contracts to oversee our expanding programs will not erode our ability to support wildlife professionals and students, it will in fact strengthen our efforts and abilities. As members, the Executive Board appreciates your support of the dues increase.

    2017 Membership Drive!

    With dues increasing July 1, 2017, we invite you to never pay annual dues again! What is this? Support Western Section with a Life Membership at the 2016/2017 rate of $450 by June 30, 2017 before the rates increase! Life memberships can also be paid in 3 installments — $150 1st installment must be paid by June 30, 2017 and installments # 2 and # 3 of $150 must be completed by June 30, 2019 to receive the current rate of $450.

    Remember, as of July 1, 2017, the Life Membership rate will be $675 payable in a single payment or 3 installments of $225 paid within 3 years.

    Life Membership Function

    Holding a Western Section Life Membership supports the programs and operations of Western Section, and the funds are deposited into a Western Section Endowment. The financial interest generated from those endowment funds may be used for student programs that include professional development, publications, communications, education and outreach, and development of new programs. Your Life Membership is tax deductible in the year you pay the dues, so you can get a tax break when you need it most. Your Life Membership is accounted for in accruals by Western Section so you are covered for LIFE as a member in good standing with Western Section.

    Consider giving the gift of Life Membership

    Consider gifting a Life Membership! Invest in a colleague just entering the profession, or show appreciation for a hardworking Executive Board member of your chapter or Section – a Committee Chair, Student Chapter Representative, Officer or Chapter Representative. You can gift a Life Membership to anybody you’d like, just let us know!

  • Student Conclave Yosemite 2017!  March 29 – April 2:  Western Section’s Student Conclave of The Wildlife Society (TWS) is an invaluable professional development opportunity. Registration is now open! This gathering includes hands-on training in wildlife techniques and conservation, and provides networking opportunities with wildlife professionals. Activities for 2017 include restoration service learning, necropsy, snowshoe, Quiz Bowl, Bioblitz, Central Sierra Nevada Wildlifers’ research overviews, Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic, Yosemite-area field tour.   Home base is UC Merced’s Yosemite Field Station in Wawona, Ca.  For more information:  Registration Form
  • Seeking Nominations for 2 TWS Leadership Positions We are seeking nominees for two key leadership positions, one in the Western Section and one for TWS. The Western Section is seeking nominees for President-Elect and TWS is seeking nominees for Vice President. The primary criteria for both positions is a keen interest in The Wildlife Society and the services we provide to our members and wildlife professionals overall. Here is a brief list of responsibilities of each position.

Western Section President-Elect (February 2017)

The Western Section presidency is a 3-year cycle: President-Elect, President, Past President. The three positions serve on the Western Section’s Executive Committee and provide leadership to the Section’s Executive Board on the operations and services of the Section. Besides learning the organization and operations of the Executive Board, the President-Elect’s primary responsibilities are to develop a theme for the following Section Annual Meeting and organize the Plenary session. During the President term, the responsibilities are to lead the Section’s two to three in-person Executive Board meetings and lead Executive Board conference calls and online communications for other interim Section actions. Many of our past Section leaders have been active with local Chapters, serving as Chapter Officers or being active with Chapter or Section activities. The Board works as a team to help welcome the incoming President-Elect and get them up to speed on current operations and activities and help them become an effective leader.

TWS Vice President (October 2017)

The TWS presidency is a 4-year cycle: Vice President, President Elect, President, Immediate Past President. Similar to the Western Section, the incumbent serves on the TWS Executive Committee and provides leadership to the TWS Council. The President works with the Executive Director who supervises staff in the headquarters office who conducts the operations of TWS. TWS holds two in-person Council meetings annually, one in conjunction with the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference and one in conjunction with the TWS Annual Conference. Additional special meetings are occasionally held to conduct critical operations such as updating the TWS Strategic Plan. Unlike the Western Section, it is the President term that chairs the Plenary Session Subcommittee and moderates the Plenary at the TWS Annual Conference.

Nominations Needed by October 7, 2016

If you know of someone you believe would be an ideal candidate for either of these positions, or if you would like to nominate yourself, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee, listed below. We are seeking names for potential leaders, both who are ready to serve now and who may be ready in a few years. The Western Section recognizes the importance of having a strong pool of future leaders and is working to ensure the members of our Chapters, Student Chapters, and the Section have a diverse and well qualified selection of candidates to best lead the Section as the premier professional society for wildlifers in our Section area.

Nominating Committee:

Western Section President-Elect:  Don Yasuda (Chair); Jeff Lincer; Natasha Dvorak

TWS Vice President: Don Yasuda (Western Section committee member)

  • 2015 Western Section Taxa-Derby A big “Thank You” to all of our members for throwing their binoculars into the fray last month to participate in The Wildlife Society’s 2015 Wildlife Taxa-Derby! Four chapters stepped up to the challenge, deploying no fewer than 9 and as many as 15 teams apiece to swarm the state in search of unique vertebrate species in a 24-hour window. But there can be only one winner, and the Sacramento-Shasta Chapter dominated the count with 257 wildlife species across their 9 teams, which adds up to 13.51% of California’s total vertebrate wildlife taxa! The North Coast and Central Coast chapters came in second and third place, respectively, leaving the event’s challenger – the San Francisco Bay Area chapter – in the dust. And kudos to the Sacramento-Shasta Chapter for their high student participation with 14 young wildlifers in play during the derby.To make sure participants didn’t sit on the coast counting birds all day, bragging rights were assigned to individual teams that kept the count interesting. Of note within the bragging rights earned were the Notsoflatlanders [Sacramento-Shasta] who logged 40 non-bird species and Trochet [Sacramento-Shasta] who not only logged 18 mammal species, but also 36 nocturnal species. Hewitt [North Coast] played his cards well by logging 148 species without moving an inch, while McCormick Biological [Central Coast] went the distance logging 139 species across 450 miles. Trochet also proved himself a night owl, with 36 nocturnal species spotted.And unscripted bragging rights are also in order for the Sacramento-Shasta Chapter whose team members discovered a new nesting colony of the state-Endangered tricolored blackbirds – a real win for us all.A lot of work went on behind the scenes to make this year’s Taxa-Derby a success. Please make sure to thank your Western Section representatives, chapter board members, and those that stepped in to coordinate the event and tally the scores after all the fun and games were done.If you had fun, if you’d like to participate next year, or if you have feedback to make next year’s event more successful, please let your Western Section representatives know.
  • TWS-WS Comments regarding Proposed Regulation Changes to Scientific Collecting Permits
  • Support the Western Section through Amazon Smile. Click here for details
  • The new Western Wildlife publication is now online. Take a look at the new website here. Read published articles or submit a new one yourself.

Annual Meetings

  • 2017 Western Section Annual Meeting
    • Peppermill Resort – Reno, NV
    • February 7-10, 2017


  • Check back later

The chair of our Professional Development Committee is Jessica Martini-Lamb (  If you would like more information or if you would like to be a part of the planning of any of these workshops/symposia, contact the individual workshop’s organizer. If you would like to see a workshop offered on a particular topic or if you have an idea for a workshop that you would like to facilitate or chair, please contact Jessica.