The government is us; we are the government, you and I. -Theodore Roosevelt

Boone and Crockett Club and Conservation


In 1903, Roosevelt visited Muir in Yosemite. Guided into the Yosemite wilderness by naturalist John Muir.

The history of the Boone and Crockett Club has a history of over 120 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.

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.

Theodore Roosevelt
Message to Congress, December 1907

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 129-year-old commitment to hunters, conservation, and our natural wildlife resources with several programs. 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.

Other conservation initiatives that Club is involved with include:

  • 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 Club’s commitment to communication, up-to-date information on CWD can be found on the CWD Alliance web site.
  • In 2008 Club members were key players in the White House Conference on Wildlife Policy.
  • In 2010 Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack have named Bob Model, long-standing member and chairman of Government Affairs for the Boone and Crockett Club, and seven other Club members to serve on a new Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council.The council is an official advisory group under the Federal Advisory Committee Act that will help to promote and preserve America’s hunting heritage for future generations. 

In 2016 the Club has a team of professionals on the ground in Washington, D.C. working on the following topics of interest to hunters and conservationists:


The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, which packages several improvements for hunting and shooting access to federal land and wildlife conservation, has again passed both House and Senate, which are now negotiating a final version for enactment. The success of this marquee bill for hunter-conservationists will strengthen policy, brighten our visibility in American culture, and testify to our bipartisan strength in a divisive time.


Serious proposals are beginning to form to pay for the bigger job in wildlife conservation that we have today compared to 90 years ago, when the first funding breakthrough was enacted. Since then, revenue from sales of arms and ammunition has been paying the freight. Today, we have created the prospect of adding a share of the value of mineral resources on public lands to budgets for sustaining that core of the conservation estate.


Though recovery and maintenance of wildlife species is the most successful track record in conservation, there is still work to do. We are engaged in difficult new situations such as conflict between federal and state agencies, and seemingly endless litigation on even successful cases such as the gray wolf and Yellowstone grizzly bear.


As we push to renew policies that facilitate land exchanges that increase the conservation value of the federal estate, symbolic protests and demands to sell federal lands outright are colliding with equally symbolic counter-protests and demands. Our ability to engage with decision-makers without the distractions of publicity is keeping us on course.


Along with the Sportsmen’s Act, our forest policy improvements are in final negotiations between House and Senate for enactment. As another year has passed with loss of life and property to dangerous fires, we have succeeded in moving a solution that address the deeper factors of overextended budgets, declining restoration efforts, and legal conflict.

The Club’s 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 Club’s unique heritage. 

This same conservation history includes other names like George Bird Grinnell, Kermit Roosevelt, Madison Grant, Col. Archibald Rogers, Dr. William T. Hornaday, Henry Cabot Lodge, George Shiras III, Gifford Pinchot, Charles Sheldon, John F. Lacey, James H. Doolittle, Stephen T. Mather, C. Hart Merriam, Godfrey A. Rockefeller, Jay N. "Ding" Darling, Durward L. Allen, George Eastman, and C.R. "Pink" Gutermuth to name a few. They were all Boone and Crockett Club members.

Much of what the Club was able to accomplish in its early days is now commonly referred to as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

Click here to learn more about the Club's contributions to North American conservation.

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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt