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On the Ground: The Oregon Conservation Strategy at Work

February 2008

February dished up an extra day this year and marketers tried to entice consumers to leap onto planes and into restaurants to celebrate. Perhaps a jump ahead of all of them, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums designated 2008 as the Year of the Frog. Beginning on February 29 and lasting through the year, zoos, aquariums and conservation groups across the country will celebrate leap year by promoting amphibian conservation. Read about Oregon’s involvement in this issue of the newsletter.

For photos and a list of Oregon’s native frogs, most of which are in need of conservation, visit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.



Red-legged Frog
Red-legged Frog
- Photo by Don Vandeberg, ODFW-

The news isn’t good—not just in Oregon but around the world. Most frogs are on the road to extinction. To call attention to the dilemma, many organizations will focus on frog education, research and conservation activities during 2008.

On April 7, the Oregon Zoo and ODFW will co-host a daylong amphibian conservation workshop, highlighting issues such as climate change, disease, pollutants and invasive species. The workshop aims to provide a forum for biologists, land managers, watershed councils, conservation groups and private landowners to discuss strategies and opportunities for amphibian conservation.

For more information, or to obtain workshop registration forms, contact Suzanne Rosen at

Frog Links

New Strategy implementation Coordinator takes reins

Red-legged Frog
Michael Pope
- Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

With a newly minted degree in Asian history, Michael Pope took up boat building. He turned out to be very good at it, and for 13 years he practiced his craft from Maine to Maryland to Alaska. Then one day on a northern beach, he straightened up from a boat he was repairing to watch a flock of tundra swans as they flew overhead.

“It was a cathartic moment,” he said. “I suddenly knew that I wanted to work with tundra swans and grizzly bears and fish and their habitats—I wanted to study the attributes of the natural world.”

And, study he did until, in addition to his B.A. from the University of North Carolina, he earned a B.S. and an M.S from Oregon State University and a Ph.D. from Oregon State University in wildlife sciences. Pope has worked with both game and nongame species including sage grouse; blue and ruffed grouse; mountain quail; Roosevelt elk; black bear and marbled murrelets.

“I’ve enjoyed an interesting career from conducting and coordinating research on species and habitats to providing direction and funding to restore and protect wildlife habitats,” said Pope whose most recent position was as ODFW Bonneville Power Administration Mitigation coordinator. “In my new role as Strategy coordinator, I have a great opportunity to engage the citizens of Oregon in a statewide strategy to conserve our amazing diversity of habitats and wildlife.”

Peg Boulay, who held the position of Strategy Implementation coordinator on an interim basis for the past year, returns to her job as Sensitive Species coordinator, something she is looking forward to.

“It has been exciting to be part of the growing momentum of Strategy implementation. I've enjoyed working with so many Oregonians who are helping fish and wildlife, but I’ve missed getting out in the field more myself,” said Boulay, an accomplished biologist. “I’m looking forward to focusing on our Strategy species.

Contact Michael at or (503) 947-6321.


As subdivisions, businesses, utilities and roads spread across Oregon obliterating many traditional wildlife travel paths, it becomes more difficult for animals to meet their food, water and space needs. The issue concerns public and private lands as well as highways.

To address the problem as it relates to roads, ODOT and ODFW are co-leading a Wildlife Movement workgroup.

“Our goal is to identify key wildlife linkage areas that cross transportation corridors,” said Audrey Hatch, ODFW Conservation Strategy Monitoring coordinator. “Transportation planners and municipalities will then be able to use the information as they design projects.”

A step-down project from the Oregon Conservation Strategy, the Wildlife Movement group is initially focusing on mammals, reptiles and amphibians. During 2007, the team held workshops in Bend, Roseburg, La Grande and Alsea to gather information and define priority wildlife movement corridors.

Workshop participants used existing datasets and local knowledge to identify areas of concern on maps. The data from the four linkage workshops has been digitized and compiled into a single, statewide GIS shapefile. It is now available for review.

Interested professionals are invited to comment until April 15, 2008. Submit input including corrections, updates or new information to Audrey via email,

Portland expands conservation efforts FOR PLANTS AND ANIMALS

Claire Puchy, one of Oregon’s natural resource pioneers, is blazing a new trail in Portland—this one on terra firma. A driving force behind the City’s Terrestrial Ecology Enhancement Strategy team, Puchy, Program Coordinator in the Bureau of Environmental Services, is intent on identifying plant and animal species and terrestrial habitats in need of conservation and incorporating the information into the city’s planning and habitat protection and restoration efforts.

“Portland has a great Watershed Management Plan for aquatic and riparian areas,” she explained. “The city is implementing many on-the-ground projects identified in that plan, but it’s important that we not forget the upland areas and the biological communities that inhabit them.”

The City’s TEES team is made up of representatives from many bureaus and supports the goals of Metro, the Oregon Conservation Strategy, OWEB and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

What does Puchy like about the Oregon Conservation Strategy?

“That’s a great question,” she said. “I was at ODFW for over 10 years and was the Wildlife Diversity Program coordinator for most of that time, so I am delighted to see so much of that work reflected in the current Strategy. I also really like the fact invertebrates are included, as well as the new emphasis on partnerships. Also, the fact that the document is available electronically and so many of the maps and tools are online really extends the potential for people to be informed and involved.”

In addition to working for the Bureau of Environmental Services and ODFW, Puchy was Director of the Audubon Society of Portland and Executive Director of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. While at ODFW, she was instrumental in developing and implementing the Wildlife Diversity Plan which laid the groundwork for the Oregon Conservation Strategy.

All in all, not a surprising resume for a girl who knew from the time she was in elementary school that she wanted to work with the critters she studied in the back fields and ponds of her Ohio home—snakes, dragonflies and birds.

Terrestrial Ecology Enhancement Strategy work is well underway, and draft elements are available by contacting Claire at ClaireP@BES.CI.PORTLAND.OR.US

For information on the Portland Watershed Management Plan and its supporting scientific foundation document, the Framework for Integrated Management of Watershed Health, visit the City of Portland’s website.


Support the amazing diversity of Oregon’s wildlife with a checkmark on your 2007 state tax return. Money received from the Nongame Wildlife Fund helps support the needs of the state’s 600 or more nongame species—native freshwater fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals—that are not hunted, fished, or trapped.

You can contribute by checking the box on your Oregon Individual Income Tax form. Your contribution has the potential to be matched three to one by federal grants and funds, so your dollars readily increase. If you are not getting a tax refund, or want to make a business or corporate contribution, you can send a check to: Nongame Wildlife Fund, ODFW, 3406 Cherry Avenue N.E., Salem, OR 97303-4924. For more information.


The Oregon Conservation Strategy offers a blueprint for the long-term conservation of Oregon’s native fish and wildlife and their habitats through a non-regulatory, statewide approach to conservation. It was developed by ODFW with the help of a diverse coalition of Oregonians including scientists, conservation groups, landowners, extension services, anglers, hunters, and representatives from agriculture, forestry and rangelands. See past issues of the Strategy newsletter on the ODFW website.

For strategy information|
Contact Michael Pope

For a copy of the Strategy
Contact Karen Buell at ODFW.

EDITOR contact Information
Meg Kenagy
Oregon Conservation Strategy Communications coordinator
(503) 947-6021

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