March 21, 2022
Last week the conservation community lost a fierce champion of fish and wildlife conservation. Congressman Don Young was the longest-serving member of the current Congress and an influential advocate for conservation policy. Young served the Congress since 1973 and was serving his 25th term and 49th year as Alaska’s only Member of the United States House of Representatives.
Don Young was known as an avid outdoorsman, hunter, angler, and trapper who worked to ensure that future generations of sportsmen and sportswomen have the same outdoor opportunities that he enjoyed during his life. Young was one of the earliest voices for dedicated and permanent funding so that state and tribal fish and wildlife agencies have the resources they need to recover and proactively conserve at-risk species. He led efforts to secure funding for states and tribes through the State & Tribal Wildlife Grants Program, Migratory Bird Join Ventures, Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, Multinational Species Conservation Fund, and Wallop-Breaux reauthorization. In 2012, Young was a recipient of the Association’s Teaming With Wildlife Award. In addition, in December 2021, he voted in the House Natural Resources Committee to advance Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, as amended.
“We have lost one of the greats,” stated Tony Wasley, Director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “Congressman Young was a true conservation hero and a leading champion for wildlife conservation. We send our heartfelt condolences to the Young family.”
“Congressman Young will be remembered for his decades of service to the people of Alaska and for his leadership in fish and wildlife conservation. I have fond memories of working with him on conservation funding opportunities,” said Executive Director Ron Regan.
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.