Leadership

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

Hunt Fish 30x30

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Collaborative Conservation as Part of 30 by 30

Theodore Roosevelt noted that, “Conservation means development as much as it means protection,” and embracing a balance of both approaches through collaboration and partner engagement will be critical to meeting 30 by 30 goals. Collaborative conservation efforts are already being embraced by local communities while making a difference for biodiversity and land conservation—here are a few examples of policies the Boone and Crockett Club has been engaged on, many of these were specifically called out as being successful in the May 2021 Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful report released by the Biden Administration that begins to outline their 30 by 30 plans.

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Working Lands for Wildlife Program

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has helped landowners through the Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) program that targets Farm Bill funding toward species conservation on working lands. These collaborative efforts have supported conservation across the country, including in the Southeast—one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world—where the WLFW’s Gopher Tortoise Initiative has conserved more than 278,000 acres of critical longleaf pine habitat. Pairing NRCS’s investments of more than $46 Million across that time with contributions by other stakeholders, the success of this program has served to not only benefit gopher tortoises, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and indigo snakes—but also bobwhite quail and other species that rely on the longleaf pine ecosystem. 

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Photo Courtesy Tom Koerner/USFWS 

Big Game Migration

Over the last three years, the U.S. Department of the Interior has initiated partnerships for targeted conservation actions to improve big game migration corridors and winter range in the western U.S. Through a federal grant program, approximately $10.5 million was used to kickstart 47 different habitat restoration projects on public and private lands. Perhaps more notable is that $54.4 million in matching funds were brought to the table for projects ranging from conservation easements to sagebrush and forest restoration projects to transportation infrastructure projects that reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. An additional $4.4 million was directed specifically to 59 private land conservation projects through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. Through effective administration, this program is showing how critical collaboration is for conservation that works across jurisdictions and land ownership boundaries.  

American Wetlands Conservation Act

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Photo Courtesy USDA 

Since 1989, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) has directed over $1.8 billion in federal investments that have been matched by non-federal investments of $3.75 billion resulting in the conservation of more than 30 million acres of wetland habitat. Notably, while scientists have reported a loss of 3 billion individual birds in North America, wetland bird species including waterfowl have increased by an estimated 51% thanks to NAWCA and Farm Bill wetland conservation programs. 

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Photo Courtesy Rich Bohn 

State Wildlife Action Plans

State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) that identify “species of greatest conservation need” serve as the roadmap for habitat and species conservation efforts. Through the State Wildlife Grant program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service directs about $60 million in federal funding each year that supports state fish and wildlife agency conservation efforts guided by these plans, however this is only the start of what is necessary to address the 12,000 species in greatest need. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would dedicate $1.4 billion annually for state and tribal conservation efforts and would significantly move the needle on the nation’s biodiversity conservation goals as part of any 30 by 30 policy.

Good Neighbor Authority

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Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) and shared stewardship efforts promoted by the Club allow federal, state, and local partners to share in cooperative forest management and restoration projects that can help protect our communities, municipal water supplies, and fish and wildlife habitat. Active forest management such as harvesting trees, thinning dead and dying trees, creating fuel breaks, prescribed and managed burns, and creating defensible spaces are all effective tools to reduce wildfire threats while also improving habitat and helping to sequester carbon. In addition, the lumber produced by these forest management efforts will lock up carbon in long-lasting wood products while creating better growing conditions for the next stand of trees, which will sequester even more carbon. Over 36 states have GNA agreements with US Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management completing more than 250 projects and restoring tens of thousands of acres of forest habitat, streams, and other wildlife habitat.
 

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

-Theodore Roosevelt