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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference! Please note, this event has passed. To return to the main Conference website, go to: www.midwestfw.org.

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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES: As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we experienced a number of cancellations and changes to the schedule. Cancellations and changes are listed here (as of January 26, 2019). 

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S15: Collaborating with community members: the human side of fish and wildlife management and research [clear filter]
Wednesday, January 30
 

10:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) It's Time to Change the Game: How Can Natural Resource Agencies Use New Communication Tools to Stay Relevant?
AUTHORS: Sawyer Briel, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: New technology has given way to a sea change in how many of our users receive and interpret. So, what does this mean for state fish and wildlife agencies? To stay relevant and share our message, we need to adapt and use modern tools in our communications and outreach. Whether through podcasts, vlogs or a number of other tools, there are cost-effective and efficient ways to reach new (and current) users. In turn, partnerships and connections that may not have been possible ten years ago are now a reality, thanks to social media and other new communication tools.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

10:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) Seizing an Opportunity for Engagement with New Stakeholders: Building Wildlife Policy and Agency Relevancy
AUTHORS: Barbara Avers, Amy Derosier – Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: State wildlife agencies (SWAs) have limited opportunities to interact with new constituents, and many times these are unsolicited interactions. Yet these exchanges can provide important opportunities for SWAs to build trust and relevancy with new stakeholders by creating strong processes that include transparency and clear decision space. We will share an example in Michigan where Michigan DNR engaged with a new group of constituents to develop a policy and program to address swimmer’s itch concerns.  Residents of several northern Michigan lakes had serious concerns that swimmer’s itch was negatively impacting local economies and were seeking a solution.  Since previous research indicated that common mergansers (Mergus merganser) are an important host for the parasite that causes swimmer’s itch, there was a desire by several lake associations to control these waterfowl despite concerns by state and federal wildlife agencies and other stakeholders.  Concerned citizens turned to their state legislators for relief and the Michigan DNR was tasked with resolving the issue. The Michigan DNR convened a core team of diverse stakeholders to co-develop a policy and program for common merganser control and used an interest-based approach that recognized multiple and diverse interests in the issue (e.g., lake residents for and against lethal control, tourism industry, wildlife managers, health departments, bird watchers, waterfowl hunters). Through the engagement process, a common understanding of the issue was developed, and the agency was able to better understand and manage stakeholder expectations.  Using this example, we will present challenges and successes of the engagement process, as well as provide tangible recommendations and tools for future stakeholder engagement opportunities.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:00am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) Differential Constraints and Preferences of Anglers and Non-anglers in Urban Areas of Iowa
AUTHORS: Rebecca M. Krogman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Like many other states, Iowa faces dwindling fishing participation and increasing urbanization. To better target urban and suburban anglers, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources created a community fishing program. To guide the program, a general population survey was conducted in Iowa’s urban and suburban communities. Survey questions focused on constraints to fishing participation, characterization of an ideal fishing trip, identification of important amenities and features, and identification of useful outreach programs. Cluster analysis yielded several groups defined by unique sets of constraints, including concern over the safety of eating fish, family friendliness, marginality, lack of basic knowledge, need for mentorship, accessibility, and catch quality and quantity. The importance of various constraints differed by demographic group and by background of the respondent (i.e., whether they grew up in a rural location, urban center, or other). In addition, preferences for an ideal fishing location and educational programs differed by cluster, demographic group, and level of fishing experience. Interestingly, the most common features characterizing an ideal fishing trip were experiential (e.g., being able to fish a location with good water quality) rather than catch-oriented (e.g., being able to catch many or large fish). These data were combined with tapestry data, allowing the characterization of neighborhoods by their probable reception to various fishing opportunities and programs. The results provide guidance to Iowa’s community fishing program for strategic fishery planning and marketing.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) Breaking It Down: Communicating Complex Subjects to the People We Serve
AUTHORS: Beth Fults, Kathleen Lavey – Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Professional marketers and communicators spend their careers finding the right images and words to sell a product or service, share news, or to help people learn – many times all at once. This is an important job, and in science-based worlds, carefully chosen and easily understood words are especially vital. Oftentimes the subject matter that needs to be shared with the public – those who are the true owners of our natural resources – is the most difficult to understand outside the world of biologists. This symposium will provide real examples of successful communication and marketing campaigns the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has spearheaded -- including a current television, digital, radio and outreach campaign that is reaching urban areas in Michigan to explain the importance of forest management -- advice, and expertise on how science professionals can best work with communications experts to get messages out to the masses. 

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST
HOPE BALLROOM B

11:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-15) Learning from Michigan’s Women Anglers Through Community Engagement and Photography
AUTHORS: Erin M. Burkett, Michigan Technological University; Amanda Popovich, Lake Superior State University

ABSTRACT: Recreational fishing is an important part of Michigan’s economy and outdoor culture, and women’s participation in recreational fishing is on the rise. Providing fishing opportunities for all stakeholders, including women, requires fisheries management agencies to gain a better understanding how women are recruited into fishing, what draws them to fishing, and what aspects of the sport they enjoy the most. This includes information about their experiences, values, and preferences regarding fishing and fisheries more broadly. Previous studies found that men and women sometimes ascribe different values and meanings to recreational fishing, but the underlying gender-based reasons for these differences, and how they relate to the underrepresentation of women in recreational fishing, has not been explored. Gendered expectations and related social processes are linked to both how natural resource management operates and what outdoor recreation activities are perceived as appropriate for women. This study’s purpose is to use a community and participant-centered method called Photovoice to better understand Michigan’s women anglers. I ask the following research questions: 1) Why do Michigan women fish?; 2) What does fishing mean to them?; and 3) What experiences or perceptions shape their initial decision to fish and continued participation in recreational fishing? Photovoice allows participants to record their experiences, values, and opinions through pictures and develop personal narratives during facilitated group discussions. This approach can invoke explanations of social processes that are inaccessible to more traditional social research methods like surveys. In this talk I will present the study findings including the participants’ own photographs, the major themes that emerged from their experiences and conversations with other participants, and how the participants decided to use this project as a means of organizing some policy-related action.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
HOPE BALLROOM B