The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Human-Wildlife Conflicts Program has been recognized for its innovative approach to promoting effective, integrated non-lethal human-wildlife conflict mitigation techniques in California.
The program was one of six recipients of this year’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Achievement Awards by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) at the California Environmental Protection Agency.
Winners were selected for developing and adopting innovative IPM tools and practices and for helping increase awareness of IPM to inspire future generations of practitioners.
“We live in increasingly close contact with animals (and) continue to see increases in human-wildlife interactions,” said CDFW Statewide Conflict Programs Coordinator Vicky Monroe, who accepted the award on the program’s behalf at a virtual ceremony held on Feb. 23.
“With this program, we work to communicate that we don’t exist in isolation from other species,” Monroe said. “We are in fact a part of nature. We interact in that shared environment, and share space and resources, with those co-existing species. We offer up a clear vision for human-wildlife interactions and how to mitigate those from escalating into conflict, and how we can promote a safe co-existence with wildlife species. It's really meaningful work.”
“We’re humbled for this recognition, and we’re overwhelmed with gratitude to have been selected to receive this award – particularly for promoting integrated non-chemical and non-lethal human-wildlife management techniques,” she said.
The full 2022 IPM Achievement Awards ceremony (Video) and a shorter video highlighting the Human-Wildlife Conflicts Program’s work (Video) can be found on DPR’s YouTube page. Assemblyman Josh Hoover (R-Folsom), Los Angeles County Deputy Agricultural Commissioner Jim Hartman, and Cougar Conservancy Director Korinna Domingo all made videos congratulating the statewide team on winning the award.
CDFW is the lead state agency responsible for responding to human-wildlife conflict and depredation (wildlife damage to property) in California. The Human-Wildlife Conflicts Program, established in 2018 and expanded in 2022, works to increase CDFW’s ability to be responsive to local communities and to provide public education about wildlife conservation.
The Human-Wildlife Conflicts Program supports Wildlife Watch, created a Human-Wildlife Conflict “Toolkit,” and launched a Wildlife Damage Management speaker series. The program’s leadership helped recruit a statewide team of Regional Wildlife Conflict Specialists and have trained them with the skills and equipment needed to serve local communities, agency partners and the diverse constituent interests statewide. In April 2022, the program graduated the first ever training cohort from its Wildlife Conflict Training Academy.
CDFW would also like to congratulate co-winners of the 2022 IPM Achievement Awards: Cal Poly Strawberry Center, Oracle Park, Vineyard Team, the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas Program, Western Regional Office of the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Chris Geiger.
DPR Director Julie Henderson said, “Integrated Pest Management is an essential practice for protecting people and the environment and is a foundational element for the state’s approach to accelerating a systemwide transition to safer, more sustainable pest management.”
For more information see DPR’s news release on the Integrated Pest Management Achievement Awards.
Ken Paglia, CDFW Communications