We have received many thoughtful comments and questions from our members over the past 12 hours. Much of the feedback has been positive, it has been apparent for most of us that RGS & AWS needs to go in new directions to thrive. I share the heartfelt sadness at losing these three biologists who have done so much good work with us. It is always difficult to let people go—it has always been my least favorite part of my professional work.
We truly appreciate the engagement. The following is a first round of Frequently Asked Questions. More to come…Keep the questions coming and we will keep the conversation going.
– Ben Jones
Will RGS & AWS stay true to our tenets of sound science?
Absolutely. This is the rock we’ve stood on for 60 years and we will continue to support and fund research into West Nile Virus, the Eastern Woodcock Migration Study, Forest Health and Resilience and more.
Most importantly, we must deliver what 60 years of science has already shown us – that high quality habitat is essential. This means exploring new ways to accomplish forest management for wildlife.
Who is going to perform all of the research that is currently being conducted by RGS biologists?
The research work has always been conducted by our partners at universities and wildlife agencies. While actual research was not a part of an RGS & AWS biologists’ daily activities, coordinating with research partners is an RGS & AWS role.
The new Forest Conservation Directors, VPs, and all staff will continue to strengthen these science partner relationships.
Will the Forest Conservation Directors understand enough about the needs of grouse during the entire lifecycle?
We are recruiting professionals with forestry and wildlife training. Many of my forestry colleagues over the years have emphasized wildlife habitat in their profession and these “wildlife foresters” are prime candidates.
I personally chose a career through dual studies in wildlife biology and forestry. During talks on college campuses, I always encourage students to co-specialize. Those who took that to heart will now have three great job opportunities!
Where will the forest management work through RGS be done, private, public, or county?
Yes. All of the above. We will build capacity for forest management wherever there is need, and by whatever means possible.
Will the Drummer Fund go away?
No. Local funds will continue to be important. Our goal is to further leverage these funds for even greater habitat work. The Forest Conservation Directors will work closely with chapters on annual projects.