Salt Lake City, UT: Today, the Mule Deer Foundation along with 50 hunting conservation partners released policy recommendations for the next White House Administration and the next two Congresses. Wildlife for the 21st Century: Volume VI was developed by the groups that participate in the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) to provide specific actions to improve wildlife conservation and habitat management. The reportis the culmination of more than a year of work by AWCP and represents a general agreement of the partners on conservation policy changes that could be undertaken by decision makers.
“Wildlife for the 21st Century: Volume VI presents our federal elected officials with concrete actions that they can take on key policy issues that will make a positive difference for future management of wildlife and our nation’s federal public lands,” said Mule Deer Foundation president, Miles Moretti. “The American Wildlife Conservation Partners is an important coalition for MDF policy work, and we played an active role in helping develop the recommendations on big game migration corridors, energy development, public lands access, and active habitat management that are found in this report.”
The AWCP member organizations represent the interests of America’s millions of dedicated hunter conservationists, professional wildlife and natural resource managers, outdoor recreation users, conservation educators, and wildlife scientists. The 10 recommendations made in Wildlife for the 21st Century: Volume VI focus on conservation funding, access and management of federal lands, big game migration corridors, integrating wildlife goals into energy planning, private land and species conservation, wildlife disease management, and habitat conservation in a changing climate. All of the recommendations encourage collaboration and cooperation between federal agencies, state fish and wildlife agencies, and private landowners.
“State and federal agencies must work cooperatively to meet the needs of our wildlife and our communities – this is not a nicety, it’s a necessity,” wrote AWCP chairs the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Blake Henning (2020 chair) and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Jennifer Mock Schaeffer (2019 chair) in the introduction to the report. The specific recommendations made by the AWCP are featured in 10 distinct sections of the report. Each recommendation also includes detailed descriptions of the issues, action items to address the issues, and whether the issue should be addressed by Congress or a specific agency within the administration.
- Recommendation 1: Funding for Conservation – Secure permanent and dedicated conservation funding from public and private sources.
- Recommendation 2: Federal Land Access – Enhance access for hunters and outdoor recreationists.
- Recommendation 3: Big Game Migrations – Require collaboration on big game migration corridors and habitats.
- Recommendation 4: Energy Development – Integrate industry, state, and federal wildlife goals early in energy planning.
- Recommendation 5: Private Land Conservation – Incentivize private landowners to conserve wildlife and habitat and provide access for hunting.
- Recommendation 6: Active Management of Federal Lands – Increase active management of federal land habitats and reduce litigation through collaboration.
- Recommendation 7: Species Conservation – Achieve greater results from an improved ESA program.
- Recommendation 8: Big Game Diseases – Support and assist states in addressing Chronic Wasting Disease and wild sheep pneumonia.
- Recommendation 9: Climate Change – Focus climate policy on habitat conservation and restoration.
- Recommendation 10: Hunting Heritage and the Future – Require collaboration for wildlife conservation, hunting, and recreational shooting on federal lands.
“MDF and its partners in AWCP will be working to ensure that Wildlife for the 21st Century: Volume VI is received by each of the presidential campaigns and by members of Congress so that they can take action on these priorities,” concluded Moretti.
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and conserving mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of men, women and youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.