On March 12, 2014 the US Forest Service gathered to honor outstanding achievements in bird, bat, butterfly and dragonfly conservation. The Wings Across the Americas Conservation Awards ceremony was held as a part of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Denver, CO.
Among the award recipients was the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab, a partner of the Monarch Joint Venture and one of the leading monarch conservation and education programs in the country. Dr. Karen Oberhauser was present at the event to receive the Communities in Conservation award on behalf of past and present Monarch Lab staff and graduate students. For over 20 years, the Monarch Lab has served to link academic research with community outreach programs associated with monarch conservation.
Others who received awards were:
- The Dragonfly Conservation Award was given to the Barton Fen Restoration Project whose aim is to protect the federally endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly.
- In the Research Management & Partnership category, the award went to Monitoring and Conservation of Black-Backed Woodpecker in Burned Forests. Since 2008, several organizations have been working together to better integrate the habitat needs of the bird into forest management plans.
- The Bat Conservation Award went to the Bat Cave Gating Project on the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. The project’s goal is to protect the bats by closing nearby user-created trails and installing a chute gate and a flyover gate at the entrances of a bat maternity cave.
- The International Cooperation Award went to the Migratory Shorebird Project: Connecting Communities of the Americas through Research for Conservation for their study of the Western Sandpiper and the Pacific population of the Dunlin.