Notes from the Editor

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2023’s third issue covers articles on elk, anadromous fish, snails, and freshwater habitat restoration. The first article, authored by Cal Poly Humboldt graduate student, Sara Moriarty-Graves, along with a number of CDFW Northern Region staff, addressed the need for comprehensive and reliable elk abundance estimates, by implementing a landscape-level camera trap study within one of the Elk Management Units in northern California. This non-invasive and relatively inexpensive method can be used to reliably estimate abundance of unmarked elk providing information necessary to aid in management decisions for the species.

Three of the articles focused on anadromous fish and/or their habitat. The second one, by two of CDFW’s Fisheries Branch staff, evaluated the attributes of angler response (or lack thereof) to the steelhead report card program finding that older and more avid anglers were more likely to report fishing efforts and catch. There are two articles in this issue by Dr. Mark Gard, a Senior Hydraulic Engineer in our Conservation Engineering Branch. The first was a review of the habitat suitability criteria for anadromous salmonids in the Central Valley and the second was a research article focused on the development of habitat suitability criteria for macroinvertebrates in the Sacramento River that can be used for habitat restoration projects.

Retired CDFW employee and former Associate Editor, Dr. Robert Sullivan, provided an article on the spatial relationships and habitat associations of two co-occurring snails, Church’s sideband and the Trinity bristle snail, a species listed as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). And the issue concludes with a book review by former Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Vernon Bleich, of Jerry Emory’s book George Meléndez Wright: The Fight for Wildlife and Wilderness in the National Parks.

We have gained another great editor to fill a much-needed gap in our editorial staff—terrestrial invertebrates. Kimiora Ward is a Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist) in the Wildlife Diversity Program at CDFW, working to evaluate the status of terrestrial invertebrate species that are petitioned for listing under CESA. She has a diverse background in research and natural resource management focused on pollination ecology and pollinator habitat restoration, native plant conservation, native plant materials development, and inventory and monitoring of diverse ecosystems. She has a B.S. in Zoology and M.S. in Plant Evolutionary Ecology from the University of Washington. Kimiora has worked as a botanist for the U.S. Forest Service, a restoration ecologist for research and conservation nonprofits, a research scientist in the Entomology Department at the University of California, Davis, and as the Plant Ecology Program Manager at Yosemite National Park. She has recently been engaged in development of an inventory and DNA barcode reference library of alpine bees in the Sierra Nevada and has written conservation strategies for rare plants in New Mexico and for the federally threatened whitebark pine in Sierra Nevada national parks—Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon.

The Journal is losing a valuable, long-time editor to retirement this month. Scott Osborn served as an Associate Editor for the Journal since 2009, mostly focusing on manuscripts involving his favorite group of mammals—rodents.  Scott received his B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine, and M.S. and PhD degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona. A confirmed “desert rat,” he studied the energetics, thermoregulation, and behavior of ground squirrels and pocket mice for his dissertation project. After graduate school, he worked as an adjunct faculty at the University of Arizona, then as a biological consultant in California. Scott started with CDFW in 1999 in the Northern Region’s Coastal Timberland Conservation Program, where he worked to conserve marbled murrelets and other late seral-associated wildlife in managed forests. In 2009, he joined the Wildlife Branch, Nongame Wildlife Program (now Wildlife Diversity Program), as the Statewide Coordinator for Small Mammal Conservation. In addition to serving as the primary author for CESA status reviews for the American pika, Townsend’s big-eared bat, and the San Bernardino kangaroo rat, Scott led the completion of the Mohave Ground Squirrel Conservation Strategy and was one of the leaders of the Mammal Species of Special Concern update project and California Bat Conservation Plan. He has led the Mohave Ground Squirrel Technical Advisory Group since 2009 and co-led the California Pika Consortium, the California Bat Working Group, the California White-Nose Syndrome Steering Committee, and CDFW’s White-Nose Syndrome Response project. Scott received the TWS-Western Section Raymond F. Dasmann Wildlife Professional of the Year Award in 2012. Scott values the tremendous friendships he made with his CDFW colleagues over his career. He intends to continue working with CDFW as a volunteer and hopes to keep his hand in both bat and rodent work. Scott’s retirement is a huge loss to CDFW, and we wish him well on his next adventures in retirement!

A reminder that the Journal now has a subscriber listserv. Anyone interested in receiving updates from the Journal and being notified when new issues are available can subscribe here.

Ange Darnell Baker, PhD
California Fish and Wildlife Journal