TWS member Mark Smith appointed to Federal Advisory Committee

Smith received the appointment with support from TWS

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack appointed Mark Smith, a member of The Wildlife Society, to the National Wildlife Services Advisory Committee (NWSAC) on March 2.

Smith received this appointment with the support of TWS headquarters and TWS’ Wildlife Damage Management Working Group.

“I am truly honored to have been selected to serve on this committee,” said Smith, the W. Kelly Mosley environmental professor within Auburn University’s College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment. “The work Wildlife Services does is essential for the coexistence of humans and wildlife, and serves as the cornerstone of contemporary wildlife management in this rapidly changing world. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute positively to the goals of this committee.”

Smith, also an extension specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, has expertise on reducing damage caused by invasive wild pigs through collaborative work with agricultural producers, forest landowners and natural resource professions. He has worked extensively with USDA Wildlife Services staff on various applied research projects and outreach activities aimed at addressing the needs of their shared stakeholder groups.

Established in 1986, the NWSAC is composed of 20 voting members and advises the Secretary of Agriculture on matters of public health and safety, conservation of natural resources, protection of agricultural resources from predation and other wildlife damage, and reduction of property damage due to wildlife.

Council members represent a multiplicity of stakeholder groups such as academia, farming and livestock producers, state wildlife agencies, and airport safety. The NWSAC serves as an open forum, allowing the voices of diverse stakeholders to influence the policies, guidance, and strategic planning for USDA Wildlife Services.

Smith has served at every organizational level of The Wildlife Society. A 2018 recipient of the TWS Fellows Award, he has shown exceptional service to the wildlife profession. He is a past-chair of TWS’ Wildlife Damage Management Working Group, providing expertise on the management of wildlife damage and human-wildlife conflicts to the organization. Smith is also a past president of the Alabama Chapter and Southeastern Section of TWS.

Smith will serve a two-year appointment on the committee and can serve up to three consecutive, two-year terms.

More information about the National Wildlife Services Advisory Committee is available through the committee’s website.

Header Image: The U.S Departments of Agriculture appointed Mark Smith to the National Wildlife Services Advisory Committee. Credit: Photo courteously of Mark Smith