It’s been a very busy, but enjoyable and exciting week for us at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. We hosted and participated in the 2013 Annual Summer Meeting for the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Association here in Omaha.
Base camp for it was the Hilton Hotel in downtown Omaha. From invasive species to mule deer and trout, from presentations to committee meetings and exhibits, this big meeting covered the gamut of conservation topics that are synonymous the western states and Canadian provinces.
I worked our Game and Parks Commission booth in the exhibit area and was able to talk to folks from Alaska to Arizona and swap information and share ideas. Here I am in our booth. I don’t clean up too bad, do I?
I should tell you that the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) is a regional association of state and provincial fish and wildlife agencies representing 23 states and Canadian provinces, an area encompassing 3.7 million square miles of some of North America’s most wild and scenic country, inhabited by over 1,500 premier wildlife species. Its current president is our Nebraska Game and Commission Director Jim Douglas! WAFWA’s mission is to deliver conservation through information exchange and working partnerships. The association has a long history of addressing critical natural resource issues and creating bold, innovative strategies as pathways to successful solutions for them. The restoration of wild sheep in North America and in Nebraska is truly a remarkable conservation success story made possible by the collaborative efforts of a working group in the WAFWA of which Nebraska is a member! Check out this awesome photo taken by our Eric Fowler of NEBRASKAland Magazine on February’s release of bighorn sheep from Alberta, Canada to northwestern Nebraska’s Sowbelly Canyon.
Part of this event was also about socializing, having fun and fostering good will. So, we put on a fair of sorts at Omaha’s Lewis and Clark Landing along the Missouri River filled with cool fish and wildlife games for our guests. You’ll notice that I was the barker for this event.
Look who else was working this event – popular Game and Parks Fisheries Biologist Daryl Bauer!
All in all, it was an outstanding conference where much was accomplished, a good time was had and Nebraska was showcased well!