Annual Meeting Update:

We are very excited about our upcoming annual meeting and we hope we see you there!

The following events still have plenty of space. To register either inquire in person at the registration desk or sign up via on-line registration starting January 28th.

 Onsite Prices
Full Conference RegistrationMember/NonMember/Student: $290 / $325 / $160
Single Day Conference RegistrationWed: $93, Th: $155, Fri: $155
ESA Section 7 WorkshopMember/NonMember/Student: $185 / $215 / $95
Western Snowy Plover Recovery Team MeetingMember/NonMember/Student: $80 / $100 / $45
Writing Techniques WorkshopMember/NonMember: $185 / $215
Weds. Welcome/Poster Reception(w/mtg reg)$15
Weds. Welcome/Poster Reception alone
(price includes section membership)
Member/NonMember/Student: $20 / $40 / $30
Hunter Safety Training WorkshopMember/NonMember/Student: $150 / $185 / $75
Wilderness First Aid$110
Sutter Buttes Field Trip$40

The following events have just a few spaces left, to register sign up in person at the registration desk:
  • Thursday Awards Banquet
The following events are sold out:
  • Friday Student-Professional Lunch

The Onsite Registration Desk hours (Doubletree Hotel Sacramento Room) will be as follows:
  • Monday 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
  • Tuesday 8:15 am - 9:00 am
  • Wednesday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Thursday 7:30 am - 3:00 pm
  • Friday 7:30 am - 1:00 pm

Quick Links

Links to content on this page

Bighorn Sheep Annual Meeting Gold Sponsors:

USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Region


Sea Turtle Annual Meeting Bronze Sponsors:


Monday, January 28

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Workshop/Symposium Registration (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ESA Section 7 Workshop (Capitol Ballroom B)
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Western Snowy Plover “Rangewide” Recovery Team Meeting and Symposium (Capitol Ballroom A)

Tuesday, January 29

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ESA Section 7 Workshop continues (Capitol Ballroom B)
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Western Snowy Plover Meeting continues (Capitol Ballroom A)
8:15 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Scientific and Technical Writing Workshop Registration (Maxi’s)
9:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Scientific and Technical Writing Workshop (Maxi’s)
12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch Break (on your own)
3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. TWS-WS Executive Board Meeting (Feather River Room, members welcome)

Wednesday, January 30

8:00 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. ESA Section 7 Workshop continues and concludes (Capitol Ballroom B)
8:00 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. Western Snowy Plover Meeting continues & concludes (Capitol Ballroom A)
8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Scientific and Technical Writing Workshop continues & concludes (Maxi’s)
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Golden Eagle Working Group (El Camino)
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Annual Meeting Registration (Sacramento Room)
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Speaker Ready Room (get key at Registration) (Bear River)
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Vendors and Exhibitors (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
10:00 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. Break (snacks provided) (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
12:10 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lunch Break (on your own)
1:00 p.m. 2013 Annual Meeting Opening
1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Concurrent Session: Island Ecosystems (Capitol Ballroom A)
1:00 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. Concurrent Session: Diseases and Pathology (Capitol Ballroom B)
1:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Concurrent Session: Shorebirds (Capitol Ballroom C)
1:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Concurrent Session: Urban Wildlife (Capitol Ballroom D)
2:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Break (snacks provided) (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
3:00 p.m. to 5:05 p.m. Concurrent Session: Amphibians and Reptiles (Capitol Ballroom A)
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Conservation Affairs Committee (Feather River)
3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Poster set-up (California Salons 2 & 3)
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Welcome Reception, Poster Session (California Salons 2 & 3) (Taco Bar & No-Host Bar requires ticket/name badge symbol indicating payment)
7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Chapter Meetings

Thursday, January 31

7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Conference Registration (Sacramento Room)
7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Vendors & Exhibitors (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Poster viewing (Garden/Terrace)
7:30 a.m. to 8:25 a.m. Coffee / Light Breakfast (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Plenary Session "The ESA at 40" (Capitol Ballroom B, C, D)
10:05 a.m. to 10:25 a.m.Break (snacks provided) (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lunch Break (on your own)
1:00 p.m. to 5:05 p.m. Concurrent Session: ESA Implementation (Capitol Ballroom A)
1:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Concurrent Session: Large Mammals and Carnivores (Capitol Ballroom B)
1:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Concurrent Session: Wetlands and Waterbirds (Capitol Ballroom C)
1:00 p.m. to 5:05 p.m. Concurrent Session: Songbirds (Capitol Ballroom D)
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Speaker Ready Room (get key at Registration) (Bear River)
1:30 p.m to 3:00 p.m. CA Bat Working Group Meeting (El Camino Room)
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oral Presentation Workshop: How NOT to Give a Scientific Presentation (Maxi’s)
2:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Break (snacks provided) (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Résumé Workshop – Undergraduate Students (Maxi’s)
5:05 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Annual Business Meeting and Member’s Forum (Capitol Ballroom D)
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. HSU Alumni Meeting (El Camino)

Thursday Evening, January 31

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. No-host Cocktail Reception (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Banquet, Keynote Program, Annual Awards, Raffle (Grand Ballroom)
Banquet requires ticket or symbol on name badge indicating payment.
Conference registrants are welcome to attend the Jim Yoakum Memorial, Keynote Address, Awards Ceremony and Raffle without a banquet ticket.
Limited seating will be provided starting at 7:45 pm in the back of the Grand Ballroom. The Yoakum Memorial will begin at approximately 8:00 pm, and the Keynote Address will begin at approximately 8:30 pm.

Friday, February 1

7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Conference Registration (Sacramento Room)
7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Vendors & Exhibitors (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Coffee / Light Breakfast (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Posters (Garden/Terrace)
8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Concurrent Session: Small Mammals (Capitol Ballroom A)
8:00 a.m. to 12:05 a.m. Concurrent Session: Renewable Energy (Capitol Ballroom B)
8:00 a.m. to 12:05 a.m. Concurrent Session: Upland Habitats and Game Birds (Capitol Ballroom C)
8:00 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. Concurrent Session: ESA and Conservation Banking (Capitol Ballroom D)
8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Speaker Ready Room (get key at Registration) (Bear River Room)
8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Resume Critique with Barbara Peters (requires appointment) (Terrace)
8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Early Federal Careers Panel (Maxi’s)
9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. CA Fisher Working Group Meeting (Rubicon River Room)
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Career Fair (Grand Ballroom)
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. California Partners in Flight Working Group Meeting (Yuba River Room)
9:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Break (snacks provided) (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
10:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Résumé Workshop (Graduate Student and PhD’s) (Maxi’s)
11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Lunch Break (on your own)
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Student/Professional Lunch (Grand Ballroom) Pre-registration required, requires ticket or symbol on name badge
1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Career Fair (Grand Ballroom)
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Resume Critique with Barbara Peters (requires appointment) (Terrace)
1:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Concurrent Session: Raptors (Capitol Ballroom A)
1:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Concurrent Session: Grazing and Agriculture (Capitol Ballroom B)
1:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Concurrent Session: Climate Change (Capitol Ballroom C)
1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Job Interview Panel (Maxi’s)
3:05 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. Break (snacks provided) (Capitol Ballroom Foyer)
5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Hunter Safety Training (offsite location - Suisun Marsh)

Saturday, February 2

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sutter Buttes Field Trip (meet at front lobby of Doubletree Hotel)
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wilderness First Aid (El Camino)
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Hunter Safety Training (continued)
6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. CPR

Sunday, February 3

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wilderness First Aid (concludes)
8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.Hunter Safety Training (concludes, offsite location)


The Endangered Species Act at 40

It has been 40 years since this landmark legislation was passed, so it seems fitting to reflect at this juncture not only on its successes, but also on its implementation and effectiveness. Questions to be considered include whether the Act is in need of repair, how well it functions across institutions of government, whether it may hinder species recovery through limiting habitat improvements or the competing interests of listed species, and whether it is nimble enough to respond to climate change in a timely manner. The plenary session will present the views and experiences of representatives from public agencies, non-profits and the private sector. The Plenary Session will be held Thursday morning.

Plenary Speakers

Craig S. Harrison
Vice Chair for Conservation, Pacific Seabird Group
Craig S. Harrison is an attorney and wildlife biologist. He was a seabird biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Alaska and Hawaii from 1975 to 1984. Among his publications are the Spring Distribution of Marine Birds in the Gulf of Alaska (Condor 1982), Hawaii Seabird Feeding Ecology (Wildlife Monographs 1983), Seabirds of Hawaii: Natural History and Conservation (Cornell University press 1990), The Laws and Treaties of North Pacific Rim Nations That Protect Seabirds at Land and Sea (Colonial Waterbirds 1992) and Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Workshop (PSG Technical Publications 1997). Mr. Harrison has served as the Vice Chair for Conservation for the Pacific Seabird Group since 1992 and has been responsible for formulating this professional society’s conservation policy. He represented the Endangered Species Recovery Council in the delisting of the Brown Pelican from the federal and California endangered species lists (2005-2009). He lives in Bennett Valley in Sonoma County.

The barriers to delisting the “endangered” Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) from the federal and California endangered species acts’ (ESA) lists were almost insurmountable. Despite abundant scientific evidence that the species was no longer in danger of extinction, it took separate petitions to delist from the state and federal lists, a grueling 4-year administrative process, and a $100,000 environmental assessment. The California population met or exceeded historical levels and had maintained an upward population trajectory for decades. The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list the Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) despite the fact that publicly-available data showed increasing populations or stability at major breeding sites. Treat arguments based on DDE and PCB threats utilized poor science. Pending petitions to list the Ashy Storm-petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) and Kittlitz's Murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) are controversial because population estimates are notoriously imprecise. Ambiguity is the real basis of many listing petitions and often a line is drawn by listing aficionados between a cherry-picked high and low population estimate to “prove” an impending calamity. Listing has become a “gotcha” exercise that often does not advance conservation. Excessive litigation is ceding wildlife management to judges and ignores that all birds already have substantial protections under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Kierán Suckling
Executive Director, Center for Biological Diversity
Kieran Suckling is the founder and executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, an endangered species protection group initiated 1989. He has bachelors and masters degrees in Philosophy and started the Center while writing a doctoral dissertation on the relationship between the loss of biological and linguistic diversity. He has published numerous articles on the political history and effectiveness of the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Critiques of the Endangered Species Act have focused on the fact that only 1% of listed species have recovered and been delisted. This begs the questions: how many should have recovered by now? What is the standard for establishing recovery expectations? Reviewing the recovery time projection in all federal recovery plans, all downlisting, delisting and status reviews by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, and annual population trends for over 100 species, we determined that 1) the vast majority of listed species are not scheduled to reach recovery goals yet, 2) the majority of species are progressing toward (=increased population size since listing), and 3) recovery rates generally accord with those established in recovery plans. We conclude that the Endangered Species Act is working well to both avert extinction and move species toward recovery.
Hon. Peter McCloskey, Jr.
U.S. House of Representatives, 1967-1983, Co-author of the 1973 Endangered Species Act.
Mr. Paul N. “Pete” McCloskey, a life-long environmental attorney who also specializes in representing landowners in condemnation actions, graduated from Stanford Law School in 1953. He served as President of the Palo Alto Bar Association and the Conference of Barristers of the State Bar, as Trustee of the Santa Clara Bar Association, and has taught at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, the Army War College and the Marine Corps Staff College. Mr. McCloskey received the Navy Cross, Silver Star and two Purple Hearts as a Marine Rifle Platoon leader in the Korean War. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1967, and was re-elected seven times, representing the San Francisco Peninsula area, including Silicon Valley. Mr. McCloskey served, as Co-Chairman of the first Earth Day in 1970 and ran for the Republican nomination for the Presidency in 1972, challenging President Nixon's Viet Nam War policy. In the House of Representatives Mr. McCloskey served under Chairman John Dingell on the Subcommittee on Fish and Wildlife Conservation, where language for the Endangered Species Act was crafted in 1973. In Mr. McCloskey’s own words “We all had a hand in a bi-partisan agreement on the language, not dreaming it would have the impact it has had over the past 40 years.” Mr. McCloskey has also been a Congressional Delegate to the International Whaling Conference and a Congressional Advisor to the Law of the Sea Treaty Delegation. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the U.S. Commission on National and Community Service in 1990, confirmed by the Senate and elected as its first Chairman. In 2006, Mr. McCloskey came out of retirement to challenge Congressman Richard Pombo in the Republican Primary in California's 11th Congressional District. In 2007 Mr. McCloskey became a Democrat. He has written three books, The U.S. Constitution, (BRL, 1961); Truth and Untruth, (Simon & Schuster 1971; and The Taking of Hill 610 (Eaglet Books, 1992). He was also the chief editor of Guides to Professional Conduct for the New Practitioner, (State Bar, 1961). Mr. McCloskey's hobbies include backpacking, fly fishing and military history.

I will give a brief rundown of the evolution of Earth Day, 1970, the defeat of the seven of the "Dirty Dozen" by the Earth Day kids, and the enormous heyday of environmental legislation which was enacted between 1971 and 1974. This includes enactment of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts and the Coastal, Estuarine and Marine Mammals Protection Acts, all accomplished by bi-partisan cooperation between the Congress and President Nixon's environmental person, John Ehrlichman. A review of the first 40 years of the ESA would not be complete without an assessment of the next 40 years.
Daniel J. Rohlf
Professor of Law, Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center, Lewis and Clark Law School
Professor Dan Rohlf teaches in Lewis and Clark Law School’s nationally known environmental and natural resources law program. He also works on real-world environmental litigation as a cooperating attorney with Earthrise Law Center, Lewis and Clark’s environmental law clinic.Originally trained as a geologist, Dan’s expertise lies in endangered species law and policy, wildlife law, and ecosystem management. He is also interested in the interaction of law and science. Classes he teaches include Wildlife Law, Law, Science, and the Environment Seminar, Sustainability in Law and Business, and a summer field course for law students called Legal Ecology. His caseload at Earthrise also focuses primarily on endangered species issues, including extensive work on restoration of salmonids in the Columbia River Basin. Dan’s research and publications likewise have centered on conservation of biological diversity. He is the author of The Endangered Species Act: A Guide to Its Protections and Implementation, which won the National Wildlife Federation book award. He has lectured and published widely on topics related to protecting and managing biodiversity. Dan received his B.A. degree in geology from Colorado College and his J.D. from Stanford. After law school he served as a clerk for Justice Jay Rabinowitz of the Alaska Supreme Court.

In its seminal 1978 decision in TVA v. Hill, the U.S. Supreme Court called the Endangered Species Act “the most comprehensive legislation for the preservation of endangered species ever enacted by any nation.” Over four decades, the statute has succeeded in halting and reversing the declines of many species on its protected lists. Its requirements for federal agencies have made species conservation an integral element of agencies’ planning and decision-making, and the law’s substantive prohibitions – or merely the possibility of these prohibitions in many cases – have led to notable progress in protecting habitat on private land. The statute may be showing signs of age, however. Methodological problems in assessing whether federal actions may jeopardize listed species or destroy critical habitat threaten to allow “nickel and dime” impacts to slowly drive species toward extinction. Lack of consensus in defining key concepts such as which populations are eligible for protection and what constitutes species recovery further undermine conservation efforts. Enforcement of the law, particularly on private land, is sporadic at best. The law faces its stiffest test in confronting twenty first century threats to biodiversity, such as impacts stemming from invasive species and climate change. Designed in 1973 primarily to combat project-based threats to individual species, the ESA has thus far largely foundered in addressing more pervasive and systemic conservation challenges. Ultimately, two factors will determine whether the United States will remain a leader in protecting species from the unprecedented challenges posed by the modern world: elected leaders and agency managers must be willing to update and enforce the ESA, and the American public must be willing to live within the limits of the ecosystems that all living things must share.
Alexandra Pitts
Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Alexandra (Alex) Pitts has been serving as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Deputy Regional Director of the Pacific Southwest Region (Region 8) since 2010. She plays a lead role in ensuring the Service’s mission and goals are met at 50 national wildlife refuges, 11 fish and wildlife offices, and three national fish hatcheries in California, Nevada, and southern Oregon. Region 8 also administers the Endangered Species Act and has lead management responsibilities for 292 threatened and endangered species. Ms. Pitts began her career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1998, serving as the Service’s Chief of Congressional and Legislative Affairs in Washington, D.C. In 2004 she came to the Pacific Southwest Region (formerly California and Nevada Operations) where she served as Assistant Regional Director of External Affairs for nearly 6 years. Prior to her career with the Service, she worked as a lobbyist for the Weyerhaeuser Company. She also spent nearly seven years on Capitol Hill working at various times as a legislative assistant to Oregon Congressman Michael Kopetski, legislative aid to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, and as a staff member on the House Agricultural Committee. Ms. Pitts has an undergraduate degree in geography and botany and a Masters in Forestry. She and her family enjoy spending time hiking, kayaking and skiing.

ESA implementation involves the hard work of meeting the Act’s legal mandates while being pushed by stakeholder litigation, pulled by oft-conflicting court decisions, supportive of National priorities, and constrained by budget realities. We are challenged with conserving increasing numbers of imperiled species in the face of mounting threats and a growing human population. In the face of biological and legal uncertainties, we nonetheless must make listing decisions and develop recovery strategies for listed species, including those threatened primarily with climate change. While the number of species removed from the List of Threatened and Endangered Species through their recovery is modest, the ESA has been tremendously successful at keeping species from going extinct and improving their conservation status. Future success will come as a result of continued and increased partnerships and collaboration, and increased emphasis on landscape-level conservation strategies.
Hon. Richard W. Pombo
U.S. House of Representatives, 1983-2007, Rancher, landowner
Richard Pombo, a rancher from the Central Valley of California, was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 1992 and represented California's 11th district until January of 2007. While a Member of the House he served on the Transportation Committee, the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, the Agriculture Committee and the Resources Committee. Mr. Pombo was an especially active member with his career culminating with service as the Vice-Chairman of the Agriculture Committee and Chairman of the Resources Committee. He was the key author of several pieces of legislation including reforms to our nation’s environmental laws, energy policy, Native American and Tribal issues, Farm Bill legislation, transportation and international policies. Mr. Pombo also served as the Co-Chair of the Speakers Task Force on Affordable Natural Gas, is a past Chairman of the Western Caucus, and was a Co-Founder of the Portuguese-American Caucus. Mr. Pombo's work on the protection of private property rights led him to author the widely reviewed book This Land is Our Land and to be a staunch defender of property rights on Capitol Hill. Mr. Pombo splits time between his ranch in California, where he and his wife, Annette, have raised their three children, and Washington DC.

A discussion on the legislative efforts to reform the Endangered Species Act, past present and future. The need to protect private property rights within the implementation of the law is the key to successfully protect and enhance habitat for the recovery of sustainable populations of endangered and threatened species. Future revisions of the ESA must acknowledge the problems and solutions that in the field biologists and those directly involved with species recovery have expressed. The agencies must have the resources available to them to make decisions based on science and the law.
Eric Biber
Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law
Eric Biber’s teaching and research interests are environmental and natural resources law, administrative law, and property. Prior to joining Berkeley in 2006, he worked as a litigator in the Denver office of Earthjustice, a public-interest nonprofit organization specializing in public lands and other environmental cases. Biber earned a master's of environmental science with a focus in conservation biology from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Biber's scholarship has appeared in a wide range of journals, including Science, Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, Society and Natural Resources, the University of Chicago Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, University of Colorado Law Review, and Harvard Environmental Law Review. At Berkeley, Biber teaches courses in Property, Public Lands and Natural Resources Law, Biodiversity Law, and Environmental Law and Policy.

One of the more controversial provisions of the Endangered Species Act is citizen involvement in selecting species that become formally protected under the law (“listing”). Citizens can petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list any unprotected species and can independently use litigation to challenge any FWS listing decision. Critics have argued that these provisions interfere with the ability of FWS to prioritize scarce resources for species that most need protection, and that citizens use petitions and litigation to pursue “pretextual” listing of species to stop development projects, including the strategic use of the listing of subspecies and populations for protection under the Act. We compared the levels of biological threat faced by listed species whose listing process was initiated by petition, or whose listing process had been the subject of litigation, with species whose listing process was neither initiated by petition nor was the subject of litigation. We relied on FWS’s own assessments of biological threat, drawn from the agency’s recovery priority rankings data. We found that petitioned and/or litigated species faced higher levels of biological threat than species that were the subject of neither petitions nor litigation. We did find that citizens were more likely to petition and litigate for the listing of species whose conservation would conflict with development and for the listing of subspecies and populations. However, listed species whose conservation conflicts with development also face greater threat levels than species that whose conservation does not conflict with development; subspecies do not face systematically higher levels of threat than full species. Our results indicate that citizen petitions and litigation may help improve the ESA listing process, at least in terms of identifying species that warrant protection under the Act.


Wednesday afternoon

 Topic Session Chair
Conservation and Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles Laura Patterson, California Dept. Fish & Game
Wildlife Diseases and PathologyKrysta Rogers, California Dept. Fish & Game
Ecology and Management of ShorebirdsMark Cowell, Humbodlt State University
Urban Wildlife Management and Emerging IssuesJohn McNerney, City of Davis
Island Ecosystems and Wildlife ManagementChris Lepczyk, University of Hawaii, Manoa


Thursday afternoon

 Topic Session Chair
Endangered Species Act Implementation: Successes and ChallengesLucy Harrington, Westerveldt Ecological Services
Mari Quillman, ECORP Consulting, Inc.
Ecology and Management of Large Mammals and CarnivoresKelley Stewart, University of Nevada, Reno
Ecology and Management of Wetlands and WaterbirdsLuara Valoppi, US Geological Survey
Conservation and Management of SongbirdsSteve Henderson, Ascent Environmental, Inc.


Friday morning

 Topic Session Chair
Biology and Ecology of Small MammalsMarjorie Matocq, University of Nevada, Reno
Renewable Energy and Wildlife – Managing a Balance Kathy Buescher Simon, Sunrise Consulting
Upland Habitats, Game Birds and Wildlife Erik Blomberg, US Geological Survey
The Endangered Species Act, Conservation Banking and Related Tools for Mitigating Impacts to WildlifeJoe DiDonato, Wildlife Consulting & Photography


Friday afternoon

 Topic Session Chair
Ecology and Management of RaptorsAllen Fish, Golden Gate Raptor Observatory
Grazing, Agriculture and Wildlife ConservationMichele Hammond, University of California, Berkeley
Climate Change and Wildlife: Managing Moving TargetsJohn Perrine, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo

Poster Session:

A poster session will be held for the Annual Meeting on the evening of Wednesday, February 1, 2013 during the welcome mixer and social. Posters will also be available for viewing at other times and locations throughout the week. Posters should be no more than 4 feet high by 4 feet wide. Presenters must bring their own supplies (T-pins, push pins, etc.) to attach posters to the display boards. Display boards will be provided. Abstracts are due by November 15, 2012.


How NOT to Give a Scientific Presentation

Since many problems in natural resources management are people-oriented, more effective communication can significantly improve management programs. Communications expert Dr. Jon Hooper (California State University, Chico) has led a Natural Resources Communications Workshop for the Western Section of The Wildlife Society for more than 35 years. Similar to almost everyone else, he has witnessed problematic attempts, by speakers young and old, new professionals and established veterans, to share their research and work at professional meetings. We decided to do something about that… In 2011, for the TWS Western Section meeting, Dr. Hooper assembled an entertaining and educational mini-workshop (he’s repeated this workshop to great acclaim at the TWS West 2012 meeting and the National 2012 meeting in Portland). It includes three key parts: i.) a presentation intentionally featuring common presentation errors (too much information on a slide, poor text /background color combinations, and ALL CAPITAL TEXT), verbal gaffes (ummmm, uhhh, like you know, I’m gonna…), presentation errors (too many slides, too few slides) and more; ii.) a revised version of the same presentation with most of those problems solved; and iii.) a facilitated discussion of effective communication strategies and techniques. A discussion and Q&A session, sure to be vibrant and educational, will follow.



Resume Writing for Undergrads and Graduating Seniors: Barbara Peters (Career Counselor) will present Resume Writing workshops for undergraduate students on Thursday, January 31 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. She will provide information and handouts about putting together an effective resume and cover letter targeted to positions (seasonal, internship, and professional) in the wildlife and environmental fields.

Resume Writing for Graduate Students: Barbara Peters (Career Counselor) will also present a Resume/CV Writing workshop for graduate students (MS & PhD) on Friday, February 1, 10:15 a.m. – 12 noon. She will provide information and handouts about putting together an effective CV/resume and cover letter targeted to professional positions in the wildlife and environmental fields.

In both workshops, she will also provide a list of special skills that students develop as part of their undergraduate and graduate experiences (research techniques, field equipment & techniques, training, licenses, etc.), as well as interviewing tips and on-line resources for job hunting in these fields.

On Friday (February 1), she will be available, on a sign-up basis, from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. AND from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at the Career Fair to critique CV/Resumes; but she is also willing to look at emailed Resumes & CV’s after the annual meeting.

Barbara Peters worked at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA, as a Career Counselor for 30 years. At HSU, she specialized in helping students (undergrads and graduate students) in the natural resources and sciences with career decision-making, gaining summer job & internship experiences, and professional job hunting upon graduation. Prior to her time at HSU, she worked for 5 years in the Career Planning and Placement Office at Idaho State University. She obtained her B.A. degree in Political Science (1971) and her M.A.Ed. in Student Personnel Work in Higher Education (1976) from Idaho State University. She lives in Eureka, CA with her fisherman husband and a Springer Spaniel, Buster – they have raised 2 litters of Springer Spaniels over the years. Barbara has been presenting these workshops at The Western Section since 2007 and at the TWS Annual Meeting since 2009.



This is an opportunity for students to meet prospective employers and discuss careers in the wildlife sciences. Professionals from state and federal agencies and several consulting firms will be present. Student/Professional Lunch, served at noon, is free to students and professionals who have indicated they will attend on their registration form, but a ticket or name badge symbol is required. All are invited to attend the Career Fair.



A group of 4-6 invited speakers will open the discussion with 5-10 minute presentations covering general information within their specific areas of expertise. Topics to be addressed include: internships including the new Federal career “Pathways” programs, AmeriCorps, Peace Corps and SCA volunteer programs and similar opportunities. A basis for the first presentation will be a document prepared by several Federal employees affiliated with the Western Section of TWS. The session moderators will lead a brief, focused discussion period followed by opening the floor to participant questions. The session is NOT intended to include graduate school recruitment or guidance and similar educational opportunities.



California Partners in Flight (CalPIF) is initiating the process of updating the Grassland Bird Conservation Plan, one of seven valuable habitat-based guides to conserving California’s birds ( PRBO Conservation Science , The US Fish and Wildlife Service, Central Valley Joint Venture, UC Berkeley and Western Field Ornithologists are convening a meeting from 0900-1200 on Friday, February 1, 2013, in association with the Western Section of The Wildlife Society meeting in Sacramento. We invite those interested in grassland management and avian conservation to participate. We are particularly interested in participation by those who actively manage grasslands and watersheds, to insure individuals who implement habitat conservation programs are involved early in the process. The objectives of the meeting include: defining the scope of the plan – ‘what is grassland ?’ ; consensus on a suite of focal or surrogate bird species to form the bases of this multi-species plan, and to form a voluntary technical advisory committee to guide the process and content. Please RSVP to Ryan DiGaudio California PIF coordinator ( or feel free to drop in the day of the meeting.



The California Fisher Working Group has been meeting annually in conjunction with the TWS Western Section meeting since 2001. The group was created to share and discuss current research and conservation matters related to fishers in California. When pertinent, information on fishers outside of California or from other members of the genus Martes will be included in meeting agendas. The 2013 meeting will be a half-day session of short presentations (5 minutes) held on Fri, 1 February, from 9:00 to 11:30 am.


JOB INTERVIEW PANEL: I Got a Job Interview, Now What? - Getting Jobs in a Tough Job Environment.

The job interview process can be an intimidating experience for the job seeker. To help make this less mysterious, a group of 4-6 invited speakers from agencies, private consulting, and academia will provide insights into what can be expected during a job interview with their respective employers. Topics include how to prepare for the interview, how you should present yourself, and the range of potential questions you may be asked. In addition, an open discussion follows the presentations.




This year our Banquet Keynote Speaker will be Lily Raff McCaulou, author of Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner.
Lily Raff McCaulou grew up near Washington, D.C., graduated from Wesleyan University and worked in New York City’s independent film industry before becoming a newspaper reporter. She has written articles about everything from professional mini-golfers to dogs trained to find wild animal scat for science experiments. She has won numerous awards, including a prestigious Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan. Her first book, "Call of the Mild," was published in June. Part memoir and part journalism, it explains why Lily -- a gun-fearing urban environmentalist -- decided to learn to hunt. And it examines what it means to be a hunter in America today. She lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband, son and dog.



Participants may register for pre- and post-conference workshops even if they are not planning on attending the annual conference.


As the Federal Endangered Species Act ”turns 40” in 2013, the Act will be featured throughout our 2013 annual meeting, including the plenary and a technical session. But before we talk in the main meeting about “what” and “why,” we’re presenting a two-day workshop on a very important aspect of “how.” Starting Monday at 1 p.m. (and concluding Wednesday about 12:15 p.m., before the annual meeting begins about 1 p.m.), we’ll open a detailed examination of “Section 7: Interagency Consultation.”

The objectives of this workshop are to go over the fundamental principles and practices involved in the interagency consultation process. The ESA directs all Federal agencies to participate in conserving these species. Specifically, section 7 (a)(1) of the ESA charges Federal agencies to utilize their resources and authorities to further the conservation of listed species, and section 7 (a)(2) requires the agencies, through consultation with the Services, to ensure that their activities are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or adversely modify designated critical habitats. This workshop will focus on the "pieces" of the 7(a)(2) process and will end with perspectives from other State and Federal agencies, as well as from the private sector, and will emphasize examples that are relevant to section 7 practioners in the western U.S.


TWS-West was repeatedly asked to offer a writing workshop. One of our members has prepared one; it was a great success in 2012, so we’re offering it again in 2013! Learn career-assisting techniques for technical writing in an interactive workshop format immediately before the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Western Section of The Wildlife Society. Well-organized, clearly written reports will more effectively communicate your findings and enhance your organization’s credibility -- and your own. You’ll leave with practical techniques for organizing your field work to facilitate writing reports that are clear, concise and easy to understand. Don’t miss your chance to learn how to make every technical document more effective from now on!

Maximum Registration: 30. Early registration is encouraged because the workshop may be cancelled if there are fewer than 12 registrants by the cut-off date of January 5th. We will maintain a waiting list if there are more than 30 registrants. A maximum of five students (or early professionals within six months after completion of a degree) can register at the discounted rate. Pre-Registration preferred because “walk-up” registration may be limited.


For information about the Western Snowy Plover Recovery Team meeting, contact Dr. Mark Colwell (mac3 “at” Humboldt “dot” edu) or Rhys Evans (sirsnave “at” Verizon “dot” net).


In addition to a half day of outdoor scenario practice of first aid and leadership skills, this class focuses on practicing skills and covering: patient assessment, shock and bleeding, head and spinal injuries, wounds, musculoskeletal injuries, heat and cold illnesses and much more. Gain some good tools and knowledge to handle a wilderness first aid emergency. Successful completion of class includes a Wilderness First Aid certificate.
Classes are fun with lots of hands-on skills practice. The emphasis is on making good decisions by staying calm and safe, doing a good patient assessment, and having good communication and leadership. Join our classes, where it is safe to learn and OK to make mistakes.
Cost: $110* per student, 14-24 students - cost to the host of the class.
Adult CPR available for $30 per student - cost to the host of the class



Hunting remains a critical component of the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation. In a diverse and modernizing world, many students and conservation professionals have had little opportunity participate in a hunting experience. This workshop provides an opportunity for wildlife students and professionals to explore the role of hunting in wildlife conservation today, examine the ethics of the evolving sport, and gain an introduction to modern hunting techniques with hands-on experiences in a safe learning environment. Students will learn to use firearms and archery equipment under supervision in the field using stationary and moving targets. In addition to advanced topics specific to conservation, all the fundamental components of a CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Certified Hunter Education class are included in the workshop and include a final examination in which all successful students will receive a Hunter’s Safety Certificate good in all 50 states. Meals (Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast), lodging and materials are provided to registrants; hunting license purchase is separate.



The Sutter Buttes are a small volcanic mountain range in the middle of the Sacramento Valley. It is circular in shape, has a diameter of 10 miles, and is one of the largest remaining contiguous parcels of wildlands in the Central Valley. A special charter hike guided by a wildlife biologist with 25 years of experience in the Sutter Buttes will occur on Saturday February 2, 2013. We will be leaving Sacramento at 8:00 am and returning to Sacramento at approximately 4:00 pm. The trip involves some strenuous hiking so you should be in good physical condition and have hiking boots. The cost of the trip is $40. Transportation will be by carpool.




Online registration is open again and will remain open for the duration of the annual meeting.
The following link will take you to the online registration form:


Onsite registration at the Doubletree will be in the Sacramento Room during the following times:

As stated on the registration form, cancellations must be made 14 days before the start of the annual meeting. Registrations may still be transferred to another individual.



The 2013 Annual Meeting will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Sacramento. The Double Tree Hotel is conveniently located 5 minutes from the Capitol, Old Sacramento, Cal Expo, Arden Fair Mall, Railroad Museum, and the Light Rail System.

Special per-night room rates for meeting attendees who book by January 14, 2013.
A limited number of rooms are being held for us at the great rate of $89 / night.  First come, first served, and these rooms will sell out quickly.  Free Internet access is included if you book one of these rooms. 

The official conference hotel, Doubletree Sacramento, is now quite close to selling out at our $89 group rate. More expensive rooms are available at the Doubletree Hotel or you have the option of staying at the sister hotel "Hilton Sacramento" (exactly 1 mile down the street) for the $89/night price.

Lodging Options:
  Address Registration
Double Tree Hotel Sacramento Conference location, only a few rooms left. 2001 Point Way West
Sacramento, CA
Tel: (916)929-8855 or (800)222-TREE
Link to Doubletree Hotel Registration
Hilton Sacramento Arden West
The sister hotel "Hilton Sacramento" (exactly 1 mile down the street) has more rooms at the cheaper conference rate.
Hilton rooms include free parking and internet and this rate expires on January 16th.
2200 Harvard St
Sacramento, California
USA 95815-3306
Tel: (916)922-4700
Link to Hilton Hotel Registration

(last updated 1/9/13)

Please indicate that you are a member of the Wildlife Society – Western Section
Standard Room$89$89$89$89

+12% Tax and $1.25 Sacramento Tourism Business Improvement District assessment fee
Questions? If so, please contact event planner Candace Renger at or (510) 527-5627.

Shuttle service between the Hilton and the Double Tree Hotel:
DateDepart HiltonDepart Double Tree
Monday – 1/2810:00 AM5:30 PM
Tuesday – 1/297:30 AM5:30 PM
Wednesday – 1/307:30 AM8:00 PM
Thursday – 1/31TBDTBD
Friday – 2/17:30 AM5:30 PM



The Exhibit Hall is full. Please visit our sponsors and exhibitors at the annual meeting.



Opportunities abound. Please contact if you are interested. A limited number of volunteers are eligible for discount or free registration to the meeting.  Please contact Janae ASAP if you would like more information.



As usual, we will have lots to offer! Resume workshops, career fair, networking with professionals and travel scholarships. Check our website under “Resources” for more information or contact the Awards and Grants Committee Chair ( additional details.



The Western Section of the Wildlife Society is proud to partner with Putah Creek Council to offset the carbon and ecological footprint of the Sacramento 2013 Annual Meeting. Over the past several years, the Western Section has collected donations from meeting attendees with the proceeds being used to fund local restoration projects that will offset the carbon footprint of the annual meeting. This year, the registration fee includes a $5 surcharge for carbon offsets and ecological karma.

Putah Creek Council believes thriving creeks build thriving communities. As the recipient of the carbon offset dollars, Putah Creek Council will help protect native wildlife, improve water quality, and ensure the next generation feels inspired to do the same through 'Adopt-A-Flat' program.

Putah Creek Council’s education program, Adopt-a-Flat, helps elementary school children learn about the benefits of healthy waterways for people and wildlife. Classes raise flats of native grasses and wildflowers in their classes, incorporating them into California science curriculum. In the spring, the classes take a field to plant their grasses and wildflowers in habitat improvement areas along the creek. Children learn lessons for a lifetime about how we are all connected through our waters, how native plants play an important role in carbon sequestration, and how protecting native biodiversity promotes a healthy environment for all.



CHILDCARE: Kidspark (Accepts children 2-12 years old on a one time or repeating basis for drop off without pre-registration).
Open: 8am-9pm. About 20 minutes northwest of the DoubleTree Hotel.
4401 Gateway Park Blvd., #100
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 575-9004

PARKING: TWSWS will validate parking at the Doubletree Monday through Friday for all registered meeting attendees.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Members will be eligible to earn credit hours for Professional Development, Professional Development Certificates and for TWS Certification renewal (note: meetings such as this do not normally qualify for an initial TWS certification application). Additional information will be provided in the final meeting program.

WORKING GROUPS: The Western Section is pleased to help facilitate the meeting of working groups during the annual meeting, as has been done in the past. In order to ensure space is available and to help minimize scheduling conflicts, if you are interested in holding a working group meeting at the annual meeting, please contact Candace Renger by December 1, 2012 at



Program Chair
Doug Bell, East Bay Regional Park District

TWS-WS President
Linda Leeman, Ascent Environmental

Pre-Conference Workshops/Symposia
Rhys Evans, Vandenberg Air Force Base
Cynthia Perrine, TWS-WS

Audio Visual Captain
Don Yasuda, U.S. Forest Service

Poster Session
Jessica Martini-Lamb, Sonoma County Water Agency

Career Fair/Student Lunch
Student Activities Committee

Raffle and Silent Auction
Lisa Ollivier, U.S. Forest Service
Sandra Hunt-von Arb, Pacific NorthWest Biological, Inc.
Joe DiDonato

Student Papers Judging/Awards
Jeff Wilcox, Sonoma Mountain Ranch Preservation Foundation
Rhys Evans, Vandenberg Air Force Base

Volunteer Coordinators
Janae Scruggs
Patrick Tweedy

Student Activities
David Wyatt
Cynthia Perrine

Local Arrangements
Lucy Harrington, Westervelt Ecological Services

Program Editing
Rhys Evans, Vandenberg Air Force Base
Amber Giffin and Corey Alling, Ascent Environmental

Eric Renger

Conference Planner, Registration, Sponsors and Exhibitors
Candace Renger, TWS-WS