BOONE AND CROCKETT CLUB AND CONSERVATION
To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase it's usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.
Message to Congress, December 1907
The history of the Boone and Crockett Club has a history of over 100 years of measured and thoughtful commitment to conservation. It is a commitment that balances human needs with wildlife needs; a commitment that sees deep value in preserving the hunting tradition, as well as in conserving wildlands and wildlife; a commitment that grows out of a powerful love of wildlife, but that is also shaped by a common-sense, business-like approach to managing natural resources.
The future of diverse and sustainable wildlife populations and
of the wildland on which they depend are in jeopardy due to increasing
competition for natural resources on public and private lands.
Although some populations of wildlife species are at recent highs,
the pressures on wildlife and wildlife habitat due to the development
of private lands are growing.
Setting aside lands for conservation, a cutting edge practice in the 1800s, served a critical role in securing a future for wildlife in this country.
The future for wildlife and natural resource conservation now rests with private citizens who own and work the land. By 2050, the human population of the United States alone, is projected to increase by 40 percent to 340 million. Thus, the threats to wildlife habitats we see today: increased human population, division of large ranches into ranchettes with no conservation considerations, intense demands on resources, the growing recreational demands of a society craving the outdoor experience, and government policies that at times appear to be in conflict, will cause our conservation system to break down unless action is taken.
It is critical to the viability of ecosystems, especially those in the West, that we:
- Develop technology, research, and incentives to understand and promote sound natural resource conservation practices;
- Educate all segments of society (from hunters to hikers) of their opportunities and responsibilities regarding natural resources;
- Demonstrate and practice sound and sustainable land management.
Today, the Club continues its 117 year-old commitment to hunters,
conservation, and our natural wildlife resources. In August of
2000 the Club was instrumental in organizing an historical conservation
summit that has already proven to have a profound effect on the
future of wildlife. This landmark meeting resulted in the foundation
of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) a
coalition of 35 wildlife organizations representing more than
4.5 million hunter/conservationists. The AWCP was formed for the
purpose of building unity, identifying key wildlife issues, and
developing a vision for wildlife in the 21st century and beyond.
The Boone and Crockett Club was instrumental in the development
of "Wildlife for the 21st Century." This document, which
represents a general agreement of the American Wildlife Conservation
Partners, was later presented to President George Bush.
In 2001 the Club helped form the CWD Alliance with the Rocky
Mountain Elk Foundation and the Mule Deer Foundation to address
the growing concern over Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). As part
of the Clubs commitment to communication, up-to-date information
on CWD can be found on the CWD
Alliance web site.
Most recently, the Club launched the "Boone and Crockett Conservationist" campaign, designed to continue the Clubs conservation legacy of defining, teaching and advocating the rules and policies of conservation, education, hunter and conservation ethics and big game records keeping and recognition. This tax-deductible program funds the Boone and Crockett Club endowed chair in wildlife conservation (Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation) at the University of Montana, its Grants In Aid program (research grants to university graduate students throughout the US and Canada) and the Clubs K-12 Conservation Education Program.
The Clubs remarkable history of quiet and effective activism uniquely qualifies it to address current and future challenges facing the next century of conservation. We are committed to an innovative, forward-thinking program of conservation research, education, and public service that embodies and continues to build on the Clubs unique heritage.