The California Council for Wildlife Rehabilitators

by Karen Hoyt

Did you know that you have a voice in how wildlife rehabilitation is directed in California? You do-through the California Council for Wildlife Rehabilitators (CCWR), a statewide organization founded in 1993 at the request of wildlife rehabilitators who felt they needed better communication with regulatory agencies. The mission of CCWR is to improve the quality of care for wildlife by providing a communication network for California wildlife rehabilitators, and by facilitating communication between rehabilitators and regulatory agencies.

Over the past three years, CCWR has been working hard to provide this networking to each and every rehabber in the state. Through CCWR's quarterly newsletter, rehabilitators share information and learn about what's going on in different parts of California. From the introductions of individual centers to regional reports, the newsletter gives a fresh look at what other groups are doing. In recent issues, for example, articles from the California Department of Fish and Game's Wildlife Investigation Laboratory identified current wildlife health concerns and problems currently being addressed. With articles like these, CCWR hopes to promote networking between organizations and individual rehabbers. The CCWR membership and regional organization directory helps put rehabbers in touch with each other and organizations in each area.

Early this year, CCWR sent out a letter and questionnaire outlining the California Department of Fish and Game's new regulations as they pertain to wildlife care training. The questionnaire was created to establish a general consensus from wildlife rehabilitators regarding educational standards for the state. Results of the questionnaire will be published in an upcoming newsletter and discussed with regional directors of Fish & Game. CCWR will also be looking at the minimum caging requirements and what they will mean to local rehabilitators.

On September 28-29, CCWR will hold its annual symposium, this year in beautiful Morro Bay, near San Luis Obispo. The event, entitled"The Balancing Act-Walking a Fine Line," will feature Dr. Murray Fowler as keynote speaker. Topics to be discussed at the symposium include:

All these topics will be presented by people working with wildlife in California, our own Juanita Heinemann among them. A closed panel discussion with Fish & Game regional directors, roundtable discussions on the symposium topics, habitat walks, and plenty of time for networking will help round out the weekend. Watch for more information coming out soon, this will be a symposium not to be missed.

The field of wildlife rehabilitation is growing and changing in California. It is important, now more than ever, to come together as a unified group to promote our field and to look out for the best interests of California's wildlife. Your participation in the communication process between wildlife rehabilitators is necessary to promote this unity. Your support in this process also assists CCWR in becoming a strong, cohesive organization-your organization-representing wildlife rehabilitators throughout California.

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Copyright © 1996 Wildlife Rescue, Inc. -- Illustrations © Deborah Melmon
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