Council will engage diverse stakeholders, advise efforts to conserve wildlife and habitats while supporting recreational hunting and shooting sports
Date: Thursday, February 17, 2022
WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture announced they are opening a nominations period to find qualified individuals to fill current member vacancies in the newly re-established a Federal Advisory Committee to advance wildlife and habitat conservation efforts and to encourage partnership with sporting conservation organizations.
“Hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts have some of the deepest connections to wildlife and form the bedrock of habitat conservation efforts,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “As climate change continues to threaten our natural world, we must work together with diverse stakeholders to safeguard the biodiversity of our planet and the health of the natural systems that supply our food, water, and other resources.”
“Members of the Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council will play a significant role in advising USDA and the Interior Department’s efforts to strengthen wildlife conservation, expand outdoor recreation, and promote rural economic development,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As the Biden-Harris Administration continues working to protect our nation’s precious lands and waters, attracting and appointing sportsmen and women who are dedicated to preserving America’s wildlife and hunting heritage to serve on the Council will be essential in advancing these efforts.”
The Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Council will help advance the Biden-Harris administration's America the Beautiful initiative, which supports locally led and voluntary initiatives efforts to connect, conserve, and restore lands and waters across the nation. Expanding collaborative conservation of fish and wildlife habitats and increasing access to outdoor recreation are key components of the initiative.
The Council, which will be managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is a federal advisory committee of subject matter experts that will provide recommendations to the federal government regarding policies that benefit wildlife and habitat conservation; expand hunting, recreational shooting sports, and wildlife-associated recreation opportunities; and that benefit national and local economies. The newly established Council builds on the Wildlife Hunting and Heritage Conservation Council, first established in 2010.
There are 10 primary and five alternate member slots that need to be filled. The Department’s will solicit nominations from Tribal resource management organizations, state fish and wildlife management agencies, wildlife and habitat conservation/management organizations, waterfowl and big-game hunting organizations, archery and shooting sports interests, and other wildlife-associated organizations. The council will meet at least two times per year, and members will serve up to a 3-year term.
The Council will also supplement President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history and will help fund watershed rehabilitation, ecosystem restoration, and coastal resilience efforts. To help further state wildlife conservation efforts, the Service also recently announced a record $1.5 billion in annual funding through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program to support state and local outdoor recreational opportunities, and wildlife and habitat conservation efforts.