At their March 2nd business meeting, the Directors of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) took formal action to establish the SECAS Steering Committee as an official committee of the Association. This action formalized a state-federal oversight board for the SECAS partnership working across jurisdictions among Southeastern state fish and wildlife agencies, federal agencies with natural resource management responsibilities in the Southeast, and nonprofit organizations and other conservation partnerships in the region. The committee was charged to provide oversight and strategic direction to SECAS to strengthen collaboration for landscape scale conservation across the Southeast.
Also at the March meeting, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) formalized its commitment of financial support for coordination and staff positions dedicated to the SECAS partnership. This commitment to fund permanent positions is critical to advancing the SECAS vision and recognizes the value of collaborative approaches to address the challenges and uncertainties facing conservation today and into the future.
The SECAS Steering Committee is composed of five SEAFWA State Directors, appointed by the president of the Association for two-year terms. In addition, one standing ex officio position is the Southeast Regional Director of the Service who represents the Service’s landscape conservation priorities and serves as liaison from SECAS to the Southeast Natural Resources Leaders Group, the federal agencies in the Southeast with natural resource management responsibilities. Members initially appointed to the committee include:
- Robert Boyles, Jr., South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Chair
- Sara Parker Pauley, Missouri Department of Conservation
- Eric Sutton, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Bobby Wilson, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
- Ted Will, Georgia Wildlife Resources Division
- Leopoldo Miranda-Castro, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Among the committee’s initial actions will be a focus on continuing implementation of the recommendations of the SECAS Futures Project evaluation conducted last year.