AFWA Recommends 38 Priority Projects for the 2020 Multistate Conservation Grant Cycle

October 3, 2019

At the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies’ (AFWA) Annual Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, members recommended approval of 38 projects to be funded through the Multistate Conservation Grant Program (MSCG).

Grants approved this year include $139,570 to Colorado State University to ‘prepare for the future of fish and wildlife management’; $141,000 to the National Wild Turkey Federation to ‘support law, graduate and undergraduate study of conservation law and policy through a center of conservation excellence;’ and $129,159 to the Wildlife Management Institute to ‘ensure the viability of the American System of Conservation Funding by Improving the understanding of excise-tax based funding for conservation.’

Total funding for the 38 projects is $5,051,304.57. Funding for the MSCGP comes from the 10-11% federal excise tax paid by manufacturers and importers of fishing, hunting and shooting-sports equipment.

The projects recommended are as follows:

  1. AFWA - Coordination of Farm Bill Program Implementation to Optimize On-the-Ground Fish and Wildlife Benefits to the States
  2. AFWA - Coordinating and Planning National Scale Conservation Initiatives by State Fish and Wildlife Agencies
  3. AFWA - The North American Conservation Education Strategy- update and align toolkit to work for today’s conservation educators who offer fish and wildlife-based programs
  4. AFWA - Introductory Implementation and Evaluation of the National Conservation Outreach Strategy- Part 2
  5. Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, CLfT - Advancing k-12 conservation education through improved tools for educators exploring the public trust doctrine, North American Model, and related examples of wildlife management.
  6. Wildlife Management Institute - Words Matter: Determining How to Engage the American Public Through the Language of Conservation
  7. AFWA - Coordinating and Planning National Scale Conservation Initiatives Through Effective Communications
  8. American Fisheries Society - Updating the AFS Blue Book: Standard Methods for Aquatic Pathogen Identification and Fish Health Management
  9. Colorado State University - Characterizing and Mapping Chronic Wasting Disease Prion Strains Across the United States
  10. Iowa Department of Natural Resources - Pilot of the WHISPers wildlife mortality event data system
  11. Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study - Exploring the potential for in utero transmission of CWD prions in white-tailed deer.
  12. Wildlife Management Institute - National Coordination and Technical Assistance for the Prevention, Surveillance, and Management, of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
  13. Michigan Department of Natural Resources - A Novel Genetic Resource To Inform Management of CWD
  14. AFWA - Coordination of the Industry, Federal and State Agency Coalition
  15. Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation - Angler R3 Program Funding Needs Assessment
  16. American Sportfishing Association - Tracking Participation through Expanded Regional & National License Sales Dashboards
  17. Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation - Digital Marketing Techniques to Increase Angler Participation
  18. Wildlife Management Institute - Ensuring the viability of the American System of Conservation Funding: Improving the understanding of excise-tax based funding for conservation
  19. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation - Increasing Participation and License Sales from Hunter Education Graduates
  20. American Sportfishing Association - Fishing in Schools: A Grassroots Approach to Increasing Angler Participation
  21. Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports - Expansion of R3 and Engagement of the National R3 Implementation Workgroup
  22. American Sportfishing Association - Sportfishing’s 2019 State-Level, Congressional District and Species-Level Economic Impacts
  23. AFWA - Coordination of State Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Authority to Manage Wildlife Resources in Concert with Federal Actions Required by International Treaties, Conventions, Partnerships, and Initiatives
  24. National Association of Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs - Combating trafficking and illegal commercialization by strengthening communication and coordination among state and national conservation agencies’ law enforcement investigations and intelligence sections
  25. AFWA - Management Assistance Team (MAT) and National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI)
  26. AFWA - Increasing Awareness and Understanding of State Fish and Wildlife Management: Implementing AFWA Strategic Plan Goal 2
  27. National Wild Turkey Federation - Supporting Law, Graduate and Undergraduate Students' Study of Legal Principles and Professional Experience in Conservation Law and Policy through a Center of Conservation Excellence
  28. Michigan Department of Natural Resources - A Collaborative Network-Based Tool for Improved Chronic Wasting Disease Management in North America
  29. AFWA - Multistate Conservation Grant Program Coordination
  30. Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation - Examining societal acceptance of hunting and other consumptive uses of wildlife, in order to create and test Agency communication strategies that promote public acceptance and advance conservation
  31. AFWA - State Fish and Wildlife Agency Technical Workgroup for the 2021 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation (National Survey)
  32. Wildlife Management Institute - Capacity Building, Training, and Pilot Testing of the Fish and Wildlife Relevancy Roadmap
  33. Wildlife Management Institute - Capacity Building, Training, and Pilot Testing of the Fish and Wildlife Relevancy Roadmap
  34. American Fisheries Society - Update and further development of standard sampling protocols for inland fisheries (Phase 2 of 2)
  35. American Fisheries Society - Fisheries Research Tracking and Information Exchange Tool
  36. Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission - National Fish Habitat Partnership Project Tracking Database (Maintenance, Support and Enhancement)
  37. Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies - Development of YY Male Broodstocks for Eradication of Invasive Common Carp Populations
  38. American Fisheries Society - Assessing the State of Fisheries Research Agendas in the United States and Outlining Best Practices for Development of Agendas

The list of recommended grants will be submitted to Secretary of the Interior Department for final approval.

The Multistate Conservation Grant Program is administered by the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Created through the Fish and Wildlife Administration Improvement Act of 2000, $6,000,000 from the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson funds are made available annually for conservation projects impacting a majority of states. In addition to funding competitive conservation projects the program also funds the National Survey on Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife Associated Recreation, the nation’s most important wildlife participation and related economic impact database.

Learn more about the Multistate Conservation Grant Program.




The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.