he nation’s top 50 hunting conservation organizations today released their policy recommendations for the next White House Administration and the next two Congresses. Wildlife for the 21st Century: Volume VI was developed by the groups that participate in the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) to provide specific actions that could be taken to improve wildlife conservation and management. The 10 recommendations made by the AWCP focus on conservation funding, access and management of federal lands, big game migration corridors, integrating wildlife goals into energy planning, private land and species conservation, wildlife disease management, and habitat conservation in a changing climate. All of the recommendations encourage collaboration and cooperation between federal agencies, state fish and wildlife agencies, and private landowners.
“Since the Boone and Crockett Club convened the representatives of the top hunting conservation organizations two decades ago, the American Wildlife Conservation Partners has presented their recommendations for every presidential election since 2000. This sixth edition of Wildlife for the 21st Century presents achievable actions on the top policy priorities identified by the AWCP consortium,” commented Tim Brady, president of the Boone and Crockett Club. “The Trump and Biden campaigns, as well as the incoming members of Congress, should review these actions carefully and integrate the recommendations into their conservation platform.”
Hunting and recreational shooting has been driving wildlife management since the beginning of the fish and wildlife conservation movement over a century ago. Since 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club has been a leader in encouraging the implementation of policies that support the conservation of wildlife and their habitat. The Club has worked closely with other hunting conservation organizations and with elected officials to develop the laws, policies, and values that are now known as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. However, in spite of great successes in restoration of wildlife over the past 100 years, the changing structure of society makes it necessary for wildlife managers and hunter-conservationists to work together more effectively to build on successes achieved in the past.
The AWCP represents the interests of America’s millions of dedicated hunter conservationists, professional wildlife and natural resource managers, outdoor recreation users, conservation educators, and wildlife scientists. Adoption of the AWCP recommendations found in Wildlife for the 21st Century: Volume VI will improve federal agencies’ stewardship of our nation’s fish, wildlife, and habitats and enhance access to federal lands and waters for outdoor and wildlife-associated recreation, which contribute significantly to the quality of life and economic well-being of our citizens and future generations.
“State and federal agencies must work cooperatively to meet the needs of our wildlife and our communities – this is not a nicety, it’s a necessity,” wrote AWCP chairs the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Blake Henning (2020 chair) and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Jennifer Mock Schaeffer (2019 chair) in the introduction to the report. “These recommendations represent a general agreement of the partners; we urge your consideration and adoption of these recommendations and look forward to working with you to create or reaffirm these federal administrative policies.”
The specific recommendations made by the AWCP are featured in 10 distinct sections of the report. Each recommendation also includes detailed descriptions of the issues, action items to address the issues, and whether the issue should be addressed by Congress or a specific agency within the administration.
- Recommendation 1: Funding for Conservation – Secure permanent and dedicated conservation funding from public and private sources.
- Recommendation 2: Federal Land Access – Enhance access for hunters and outdoor recreationists.
- Recommendation 3: Big Game Migrations – Require collaboration on big game migration corridors and habitats.
- Recommendation 4: Energy Development – Integrate industry, state, and federal wildlife goals early in energy planning.
- Recommendation 5: Private Land Conservation – Incentivize private landowners to conserve wildlife and habitat and provide access for hunting.
- Recommendation 6: Active Management of Federal Lands – Increase active management of federal land habitats and reduce litigation through collaboration.
- Recommendation 7: Species Conservation – Achieve greater results from an improved ESA program.
- Recommendation 8: Big Game Diseases – Support and assist states in addressing Chronic Wasting Disease and wild sheep pneumonia.
- Recommendation 9: Climate Change – Focus climate policy on habitat conservation and restoration.
- Recommendation 10: Hunting Heritage and the Future – Require collaboration for wildlife conservation, hunting, and recreational shooting on federal lands.
“The Wildlife for the 21st Century: Volume VI report provides a roadmap for policy makers to make a meaningful difference for wildlife conservation,” concluded the Boone and Crockett Club’s Brady. “We look forward to working closely with members of Congress and the next Administration over the next four years to ensure the future of our wildlife and hunting heritage.”
About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. For details, visit www.boone-crockett.org.