The conservation community, dating back to George W. Bush’s first term as President in 2001, has rallied together to produce a transition document titled, Wildlife for the 21st Century. Its purpose was to codify issues of greatest concern to sportsmen, prioritize these issues, and recommend solutions. It’s purpose is to also advise incoming administrations as to the critical work and programs that are already underway that should be allowed to continue in order to bear fruit.
Such efforts, and these documents, have been produced and presented to each U.S. president since then by the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP). AWCP is a consortium of 49 wildlife conservation organizations representing over 20 million sportsmen-members that works to safeguard our nation’s wildlife resources and the interests of America’s sportsmen and women.
During the George W. Bush Administration, AWCP advocated for formal recognition of sportsmen conservation under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The result was the formation of the Sporting Conservation Council, later to be renamed the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council. “The Council” charter authorizes it to hold public meetings with theU.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Interior to examine issues and submit recommendations.
Wildlife for the 21st Century Volume IV will be presented to the Obama Administration for his second term. It will contain priority recommendations for resolving major national issues facing our hunting heritage and wildlife conservation, including:
- Promoting our hunting heritage
- Promoting access for hunting and recreational shooting on federal lands
- Enhancing wildlife habitat conservation on federal public lands
- Enhancing coordination between federal and state agencies
- Enhancing wildlife habitat conservation on private lands
- Funding wildlife conservation
- Fully incorporating wildlife conservation into energy development
- Addressing impacts of climate change on wildlife
- Addressing threats to wildlife from diseases and invasive species
- Enhancing effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
The bottom line is, the conservation community that represents sportsmen, our wildlife, and the habitats that support us all has gained the respect, credibility, and the access needed to be able to be heard and advise at the highest levels within our government. AWCP has been able achieved great things since its formation in 2000. These successes are set to continue.