December 9, 2019
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is pleased to announce the release of the Fish and Wildlife Relevancy Roadmap. The roadmap is meant to be a practical guide that state, provincial and territorial fish and wildlife conservation agencies can use to overcome barriers to broader relevance, public engagement and support. The roadmap was adopted by the Association at its 2019 Annual Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota.
“The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is the world's most successful system of policies and laws to restore and safeguard fish and wildlife and their habitats through sound science and active management,” said Secretary Kelly Hepler of South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “We also recognize that as society is becoming more urban and diverse, fish and wildlife agencies need new approaches to help engage the public and promote an understanding of the importance of maintaining healthy fish and wildlife. This roadmap is a tool to assist us in achieving that goal.”
“The relevancy of fish and wildlife conservation is one of the most important challenges confronting natural resource agencies,” said Steve Williams, President of the Wildlife Management Institute and member of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources. “Sustaining our diverse fish and wildlife resources in the future will require all constituents to join ranks with our traditional supporters.”
Steve Williams and Tony Wasley, Director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife and Chair of the AFWA Executive Committee, led a team of over 60 professionals from state, federal and private conservation organizations to develop the roadmap, fulfilling a recommendation of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources. The roadmap took more than a year to complete and includes 28 strategies and over 200 tactics designed to help organizations overcome barriers to engaging and serving broader constituencies. The Wildlife Management Institute recently received a grant through the Multistate Conservation Grant Program to support implementation and testing of the roadmap in state fish and wildlife agencies. That work is slated to begin early 2020.
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.