WHEREAS, our system of fish and wildlife management, developed over the last century, has been built on a foundation of state agencies as the primary entities responsible for conserving and managing fish and wildlife, working cooperatively with federal fish and wildlife agencies, federal land management agencies, non-governmental organizations and private land owners; and
WHEREAS, thanks to reliable funding from hunters and anglers and collaborative efforts with other government agencies and private landowners, state fish and wildlife agencies have a legacy of success in recovering some of our most treasured game and sportfish species; and
WHEREAS, obstacles including limited funding, constrained programmatic authority, and political pressure have challenged the ability of state fish and wildlife agencies to execute their full responsibility to conserve all species, even as agencies have identified thousands of species in need of conservation attention through state wildlife action plans, and as the threats to wildlife have grown in scope and complexity; and
WHEREAS, the user-based funding model that exists for nearly all state fish and wildlife agencies has limited their ability to effectively implement programs that involve the full diversity of Americans who value wildlife, participate in wildlife-related activities, and benefit from conservation; and
WHEREAS, in order to maintain their leadership role in wildlife management, state fish and wildlife agencies need to have organizational structures, governance, and funding that strengthens their ability to address emerging natural resource threats, work with partners and remain relevant to changing expectations of society; and
WHEREAS, since its inception, the National Wildlife Federation has supported strong leadership by state fish and wildlife agencies and led efforts to increase and broaden funding for those agencies to carry out their conservation mission.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation at its annual meeting assembled June 6-9, 2018 in Chantilly, Virginia, affirms our commitment to sustaining strong state fish and wildlife agencies by enhancing their ability to address 21st-century wildlife management challenges and opportunities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Wildlife Federation supports increased and broadened funding for state fish and wildlife agencies; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Wildlife Federation believes that heightened public awareness of the wildlife crisis is necessary in order to engage, inform, and inspire groups and individuals to make strengthening and broadening the work of state fish and wildlife agencies a high priority; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Wildlife Federation believes that broad-based, diverse coalitions are needed to empower state fish and wildlife agencies to increase their capacity, funding, and commitment to the full array of wildlife and meet the increasing demand of a variety of outdoor enthusiasts; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation urges bold state agency leadership to expand the successful model of conservation for game and sportfish species to all fish and wildlife and to increase wildlife-related outdoor activities and education opportunities for all Americans.