The 2015 annual meeting of the Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture Technical Committee convened at Mountain Lake Lodge outside of Blacksburg, VA on August 19-20. The group of bird researchers and resource managers held discussions on a litany of issues regarding the Joint Venture and bird conservation in the Appalachians and beyond including the restructuring of the Technical Committee, a landscape-level habitat planning and delivery tool for the AMJV, and international efforts among partners on wintering grounds of priority bird species.
Major action items that came out of the meeting included:
- Establishing regional technical committee meetings to bring more people and organizations to the table on AMJV priorities/conservation activities and to dig deeper into regional issues: For the northern region (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania) establish group to meet once a year. For central (Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and Kentucky) and southern regions (North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama) integrate AMJV topics into established meetings and initiatives such as the Southern Golden-winged Warbler Committee, CASRI, and Fire Learning Network. AMJV staff will work with regional point of contacts to organize;
- Creating 5 Working Groups to further initiatives of the JV Partnership;
- Working with The Nature Conservancy Fire Learning Network and U.S. Forest Service to coordinate congressional trip for representatives and staff to field sites;
- Developing and disseminating Technical Committee Digest twice a year that documents field work, publications, and other updates from AMJV technical community. The JV will assemble and distribute information prior to the field season (February) and right before the Technical Committee meeting (July); and
- Developing a partner directory on website that lists Technical Committee members, organization, research and bird species interest, and other information.
AMJV staff and Technical Committee members have already begun work on several of these items. The next Technical Committee meeting will likely take place the 1st week of August 2016 in Kentucky. Stay tuned for a Doodle Poll to schedule the exact dates and location.