Forest Service award honors Mexican spotted owl work

Twenty-eight Forest Service scientists and land managers, along with a suite of collaborators, are sharing the distinguished Research Partnership Award, one of four Wings Across the Americas awards.

Every year, the Forest Service recognizes outstanding work by agency personnel and their conservation partners in conserving birds, bats, butterflies and dragonflies. The Wings Across the Americas awards acknowledge projects or program that enhances the conservation and concern for migratory wildlife and their habitat needs in an urban environment.

Since 1983, an interagency team of researchers and managers led by the Rocky Mountain Research Station has worked cooperatively to understand the ecology of the Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) and translate the results into management recommendations. This research has collectively influenced management across millions of acres of forests in the American Southwest and Mexico.

The management approaches recognize the importance of balancing the short-term need to conserve existing habitat while ensuring the long-term sustainability of owl habitat in the future. The success of this project is due in part to the inter-disciplinary efforts to assess disturbance, forest ecology, landscape, and impacts to wildlife habitat, and to the close collaboration between wildlife ecologists and managers to ensure habitat well into the future.

The Forest Service team members recognized include Chris Witt, Joseph Ganey, William Block, James P. Ward Jr., Jeffrey Jenness, Brenda Strohmeyer, Samuel Cushman, Sean Kyle, Ryan Jonnes, Darrell April, Teryl Grubb, Wil Moir, Serra Hoagland, Jill Dwyer, Charles Johnson, Jamie Sanderlin, Jose Iniguez, Richard Reynolds and Kerry Cobb from Rocky Mountain Research Station; Donald DeLorenzo, James Lloyd, James Dick and Karl Malcolm from the Southwestern Region; Gregory Goodwin and Sandra Nagiller from Coconino National Forest; Gary Ziehe, Todd Rawlinson, Danney Salas and Jack Williams from Lincoln National Forest; and Leon Fisher.

The other agency team members include Shaula Hedwall, Steven Spangle, Sarah Rinkevich and J. Mark Kaib from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Jennifer Blakesley and Wendy Lanier from Bird Conservancy of the Rockies; J. Robert Vahle from Arizona Game and Fish Department; Sartor Williams III from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish; Frank Howe from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources; Luis Antonio Tarango-Arámbula and Fernando Clemente-Sanchez from Colegio de Postgraduados Campus San Luis Potosí; Gary C. White, Alan Franklin and Brent Bibles from Colorado State University; M. Zach Peery, Chris May and Mark Seamans from Humboldt State University; R. J. Gutiérrez from University of Minnesota; David Willey from Montana State University; Kendal Young from New Mexico State University; and Russell Balda, Paul Beier, Ho Yi Wan, Michael Lommler and David Delaney from Northern Arizona University.

The U.S. Forest Service is a Premier Partner of The Wildlife Society.

Header Image: An interagency team of researchers and managers has been recognized for its work to understand the ecology of the Mexican spotted owl. ©USFS