The Western Section of the Wildlife Society is proud to partner with the Great Basin Institute to offset the carbon and ecological footprint of the Reno 2014 Annual Meeting. Over the past several years, the Western Section has collected donations from meeting attendees with the proceeds being used to fund local restoration projects that offset the carbon footprint of the annual meeting. This year, the registration fee includes a $5 surcharge for carbon offsets and ecological karma.
Great Basin Institute, headquartered in Nevada, is an interdisciplinary field studies organization that promotes environmental research, education, and conservation throughout the West. Their mission is to increase ecological literacy and public land conservation through research, educational outreach and direct service programs. Great Basin Institute has provided comprehensive environmental programs for 9,907 students in the past four years through school Field Studies and the Great Basin Naturalists Science Exploration Summer Camp. Their field studies are academically rigorous and reflect a commitment to environmental learning and experiential engagement. Over the past four years, their programs have grown in number, attendance, depth, and complexity as they have connected them to the Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
As the recipient of the carbon offset dollars, Great Basin Institute will continue their efforts to restore the Virgin River through the reintroduction of native plants. This collaborative project among Great Basin Institute, Nevada Conservation Corps, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Walton Family Foundation supports the recovery of the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Riparian restoration will also improve water quality in the Virgin River, which provides habitat for these special-status fishes: woundfin, Virgin River chub, Virgin spinedace, flannelmouth sucker, and desert sucker.