Thursday, February 25, 2010

Call to Reform of Wildlife Conservation

 The following is from The Wildlife Society Blog  Making Tracks  John Organ is a board member of Orion. I am on the steering committee for The Vermont Wildlife Partnership, a coalition of hunting, conservation, environmental and business groups is working for broad based, adequate and sustainable funding for the VT Fish and Wildlife Dept.


A Call for Reform

February 24th, 2010
Writing in The Journal of Wildlife Management this month, Cynthia Jacobson, John Organ, Dan Decker, and other leaders in the wildlife field argue that,”The wildlife conservation institution needs to reform to maintain legitimacy and relevancy in the 21st century.”
To be sure, times have changed since the tenets of wildlife conservation were established in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, hunters and anglers–upon whom state wildlife agencies depend for financing–aren’t as numerous. Other stakeholder groups have legitimate interests in managing and maintaining wildlife populations. Wildlife habitat is giving way to development. Myriad federal and state laws and policies now regulate how we study, manage, and conserve animals and populations.
Because of these and other changes, the authors suggest four considerations for reform:
1) funding should be broad-based (not relying primarily on proceeds from hunting license and gun sales),
2) agencies should be governed by trustees (rather than depend on a revolving door of directors),
3) science should provide the basis for professional recommendations (politics should not), and
4) a wide range of stakeholders and partners should play a role in the institution (not just those interested in consumptive use of wildlife).
Read the article to learn more about the authors’ views. Do you think wildlife conservation needs to undergo reform? If so, how should we proceed?


  1. This is what I posted over on TWS blog -
    This article comes at a critical time. Many of us have recognized the user pay model is insufficient and have been working for other solutions. But we have not tackled the bigger questions contained in this report.
    Unfortunately many in the hunting organizations would rather go down with the ship than give up the controls and keep it afloat. I do think there is a strong conservation ethic in the US, but we leaders have looked too narrowly at our jobs and played it too safe for too long.
    For any reform to occur, dissatisfaction with the current situation plus viable first steps has to be greater than resistance to change. I will do all I can to move this discussion forward.

  2. Great article. Thanks for pointing it out, Eric. Kudos to John and his fellow authors!

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