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Policy News

Wetlands Thrive on Connectivity

Thomas E. Bigford, AFS Policy Director [email protected] Finally, courtesy of a federal rule issued in late May, society can push the pause button on the long debate about wetland policy and science. While the central issue of what is and is not a wetland was addressed in the final Clean Water Act (CWA) rule released... Read More

Silt Happens…Literally

“Silt happens!” That simple riff off a common bumper sticker is a quote from Gary Esslinger, manager of the Elephant Butte Irrigation District in southern New Mexico (Weiser 2011). His sentiment arose from desert country but might have been uttered by Exelon Power about its Conowingo hydropower project on the Susquehanna River or the owners... Read More

Nature-Based Remedies to Societal Woes

Doesn’t everyone revere Mother Nature? Granted, some might not be as love-struck as me, but I suspect most AFS members appreciate Mother’s ability to get things right. It was while reading about the science and policy of habitat conservation (protection and restoration) that I began to sense a theme, or at least imagine one. If... Read More

Shall We Advocate?

by Thomas E. Bigford, Policy Director, American Fisheries Society   Advocacy in its simplest construct has two components — an issue and a voice. Life is rarely so simple, as is definitely true about advocacy. AFS is actively engaged in that debate as we consider roles that may position us to be a stronger advocate... Read More

Reaching Outside AFS to Heighten Our Impact

Serving as your dutiful correspondent and policy wonk, I wrote this column from the AFS Southern Division Annual Meeting in Savannah, Georgia (late January), a gorgeous coastal city that also hosted the mid-year meeting of the AFS Governing Board (early February). The hugely successful Southern Division event reminded me how much AFS members offer to... Read More

Policy: Roles for Everyone

I dedicated one of my columns to how we and our Society can wield greater influence through partnerships. Fish-centric opportunities abound, but bonus points await those who reach beyond fish and toward aquatic systems on larger geographic scales, toward other natural resources such as wildlife, toward cross-cutting efforts based on topical themes such as resource economics,... Read More

Revisiting Hopes for Created and Restored Habitats

by AFS Policy Director Tom Bigford This column started with a singular focus on the ecological value of artificial or engineered spaces as surrogates for natural habitats. After some enlightening conversations at the AFS Annual Meeting in Québec City, my topic morphed into a broader policy arena. Besides habitats, we might create with sculpted sediments,... Read More

Aquaculture and the Science–Policy Continuum

Aquaculture is a complex arena, complete with ever-expanding science, shifting management implications, and growing societal demands. How, then, do we create useful policy to guide our way? And how can AFS its members lead the way? by Tom Bigford – American Fisheries Society Policy Director AFS proudly describes itself as the “oldest and largest professional... Read More

Tom's Top Ten Policy Issues

In closing my last column, I promised to share the top 10 issues facing fisheries, an inclusive term defined here as the fish, the people who fish, and the recreational and commercial industries. This is my list, based largely on deep immersion in science, management, and policy issues during my 18 months on the AFS... Read More