RETHINKING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ACADEMIA, CONSULTANTS, APPLICANTS, AND RESOURCE AGENCIES. A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP TO PROTECT NESTING BIRDS
|Chris S Huntley; Aspen Environmental Group; firstname.lastname@example.org; Brooke Langle|
Local, State and federal agencies develop policies and regulations that protect wildlife and their habitat. Cities, land managers, utilities, and developers must comply with these regulations when constructing projects or maintaining existing infrastructure such as dams, power lines, or other facilities. Some regulations are clearly defined and easy to understand. Others require extensive agency coordination, surveys, and monitoring. Even then some regulations may be unclear or difficult to implement during construction. Does this mean the regulations are wrong? Where they not properly vetted by academics or field biologists? Nesting bird regulations including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act require that active nests are avoided. However, they do not provide required buffers or give guidance on how to protect active nests. In an effort to protect nests, regulators and applicants often suggest non-disturbance buffers which impede construction or restoration activities while not benefiting the bird. Join us for a discussion of how academia, consultants, applicants, and the resource agencies worked collaboratively to interpret nesting bird regulations and develop science and behavior based non-disturbance buffers that protected nesting birds when construction was conducted in the nesting bird season.