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Ellen Paul

Ornithological Council urges USFWS to increase number of permitting staff

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This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council.

 

On 23 Jan 2020, the Ornithological Council learned of an extreme staffing shortage in the USFWS Region 8 permitting office, via an auto-reply to an e-mail:

 

Your message has been received. Thank you!  You have contacted the Migratory Bird Permit Office in Region Eight.  Our Office supports California and Nevada.  If you do not reside in one of these locations, please contact the appropriate region (please cc us so we know.)

Our office is currently very short-staffed and is experiencing a backlog of one year with processing permits and mail.

Do not follow up with a hard copy unless asked to do so or if you are sending a processing fee through the mail.  The only way we can accept processing fees is with a hard copy check or money order payable to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Reports – if you are submitting a report, no further action is needed.

Applications – if you are submitting an application.  No further action is needed; however, we do recommend following up with our office if you have not heard from us after 6 months.

Questions – if you have a question, a response may require research and time.  We appreciate your patience and will respond to your inquiry at our earliest opportunity.

 

This problem has occurred before. It was resolved, at least in part, by having some of the pending permit applications sent out to other regions. However, it is rather doubtful that other regions are in good shape at this point.

The Ornithological Council has implored USFWS Director Aurelia Skipwith to immediately hire more permitting staff in all regions.

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