Map of SECAS geography.
SECAS map.

Back in July, I reported on new membership for the SECAS Steering Committee, and since change is the constant in life, the Steering Committee is adjusting once again. I’m pleased to announce Robert Boyles, Director of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was appointed to replace Chuck Sykes, who withdrew from the Steering Committee due to numerous prior commitments. Following almost a year of interim service, Robert was appointed SC DNR director in February 2020. He brings a strong management and marine science perspective to the SECAS Steering Committee. Robert is also an enthusiastic SECAS supporter due to South Carolina’s long record of participation and success in landscape conservation action. At Director Boyles’ request, we are preparing a detailed briefing on SECAS to help get him up to speed quickly on the committee. Thanks go to Robert for agreeing to help guide the continuing evolution of SECAS by participating on the Steering Committee!

The SECAS Steering Committee comprises five state agency directors from the Southeastern Association (SEAFWA) and one federal agency representative from the Southeast Natural Resource Leaders’ Group. The role of the Steering Committee is to provide oversight and strategic direction to SECAS.

Throughout this spring and summer, SECAS was proactively engaged through the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) to contribute to the AFWA President’s Task Force report on shared science and landscape conservation. The report features a comprehensive review of four regional landscape conservation partnerships, including SECAS, with regard to collaborative approaches, conservation accomplishment, and alignment with the guiding principles of the 2018 AFWA Resolution on Landscape Conservation. SECAS Steering Committee chair Gordon Myers (North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission) and Greg Wathen (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Division) participated on the Task Force representing SECAS. The Task Force report was approved by the AFWA Executive Committee at its annual meeting in September. The report is available here.

Mark your calendars to attend the virtual SECAS Symposium as part of the SEAFWA Annual Conference 2020. The symposium is scheduled for Tuesday, October 27, from 2:00- 5:00 p.m. central time and features presentations on recent progress and future directions for SECAS. Of particular interest will be the dedicated question/answer and discussion periods following grouped presentations. The Q&As will help draw out discussion and reveal important applications of the products of SECAS, as well as defining the needs and future actions to sustain the value of the partnership into the future. Please plan to attend and participate, and spread the word to your colleagues encouraging their attendance as well.