The North American Model is a Proven System for Protecting Our Resources.
Wildlife conservation is important to ensure game for future generations. When discussing natural resources, we often focus on oil, gas, and minerals, but we shouldn’t forget about wildlife.
In North America, we are fortunate to have a proven system that recognizes the value of wildlife and provides for its proper use and management.
This system is called the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and has been on point for the past 130 years. This blog post will explore this model, how it works, and why it’s important.
Wildlife Restoration Act
The Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, or the Pittman-Robertson Act, is a federal law providing funding to state and federal agencies for wildlife conservation and restoration projects. The act is funded by an 11% excise tax on firearms, ammunition, archery, and hunting equipment.
The Pittman-Robertson Act has been instrumental in restoring many wildlife species in the United States, including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and waterfowl. The act has also funded important research on wildlife management and habitat conservation.
To receive funding under the Pittman-Robertson Act, states must agree to certain conditions, such as:
- Not diverting hunting license fees for any purpose other than wildlife conservation and management.
- Maintaining a qualified wildlife agency.
- Submitting annual reports on their wildlife projects to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Pittman-Robertson Act is one of the world’s most successful wildlife conservation programs. It has helped to restore and protect millions of acres of wildlife habitat and has played a major role in the recovery of many wildlife species.
Here are some examples of projects that the Pittman-Robertson Act has funded:
- Habitat restoration projects to improve food and cover for wildlife.
- Purchase of land for wildlife management areas.
- Research on wildlife diseases and management techniques.
- Hunter education programs.
- Construction and maintenance of shooting ranges.
The Pittman-Robertson Act is a vital source of funding for state wildlife agencies. It is a win-win for hunters, wildlife managers, and the general public.
National Wildlife Refuge System
The National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) is a network of over 568 protected areas managed by the federal government’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
Refuges include many habitats, from wetlands to forests to deserts, and are home to various fish and wildlife, including many threatened and endangered species.
The NWRS was established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt with the signing of the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge Executive Order. Pelican Island, located off the coast of Florida, was the first national wildlife refuge in the United States.
Today, the NWRS encompasses over 850 million acres of land and water in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Refuges provide important habitat for over 380 threatened or endangered species and millions of other fish, wildlife, and plants.
Refuges also offer a variety of recreational opportunities for visitors, including: hunting and fishing, fishing, birdwatching, hiking, and camping. In fiscal year 2022, over 65 million people visited national wildlife refuges.
The NWRS is one of the most critical wildlife conservation and systems in the world. It plays a vital role in protecting our nation’s wildlife and habitats for future generations.
- Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas is home to the endangered whooping crane.
- Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia and Florida is a vast wetland ecosystem providing habitat for wildlife, including alligators, snakes, and birds.
- Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is a popular destination for birdwatchers, with over 300 species of birds spotted on the refuge.
- The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is one of the largest and most remote national wildlife refuges in the United States. It is home to various wildlife, including polar bears, grizzly bears, and caribou.
The NWRS is a valuable resource for all Americans. It allows us to experience nature, learn about wildlife, and connect with our natural heritage.
Federal Duck Stamp Act
The Federal Duck Stamp Act, also known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act, is a federal law that requires waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older to purchase and carry a valid Federal Duck Stamp prior to taking migratory waterfowl. The act was passed in 1934 to raise funds for the purchase and protection of waterfowl habitat.
The Federal Duck Stamp is a collectible stamp that features a different design each year. The design is chosen through a nationwide art contest. The stamp is valid for one year, from July 1 through the following June 30.
The proceeds from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps are deposited in the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, which is used to purchase or lease wetlands and wildlife habitat for inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Over 6 million acres of waterfowl habitat have been protected with money from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.
In addition to being required for waterfowl hunting, the Federal Duck Stamp also serves as a free pass to any national wildlife refuge that charges an entrance fee.
The Federal Duck Stamp Act is a vital source of funding for waterfowl conservation in the United States. It has helped to protect millions of acres of waterfowl habitat and has played a major role in the recovery of many waterfowl species.
The Federal Duck Stamp is a popular collectible item among birdwatchers, stamp collectors, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The stamp is also a great way to support waterfowl conservation.
Sport Fish Restoration Act
The Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950, also known as the Dingell-Johnson Act, is a federal law that provides funding to state fish and wildlife agencies for sport fish conservation and restoration projects. The act is funded by an excise tax on fishing equipment, including rods, reels, creels, artificial lures, baits, and flies.
The Sport Fish Restoration Act has been instrumental in the restoration and management of many sport fish species in the United States, including trout, bass, salmon, and striped bass. The act has also funded important research on fish biology and habitat conservation.
In order to receive funding under the Sport Fish Restoration Act, states must agree to certain conditions, such as:
- Not diverting fishing license fees for any purpose other than sport fish conservation and management.
- Maintaining a qualified fish and wildlife agency.
- Submitting annual reports on their sport fish projects to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Sport Fish Restoration Act is one of the world’s most successful sport fish conservation programs. It has helped to restore and protect millions of acres of fish habitat and has played a major role in the recovery of many sport fish species.
Here are some examples of projects that the Sport Fish Restoration Act has funded:
- Habitat restoration projects to improve food and cover for fish.
- Purchase of land for fishing access and fish habitat.
- Research on fish diseases and management techniques.
- Fish stocking programs.
- Fishing education programs.
- Construction and maintenance of fishing piers and boat ramps.
The Sport Fish Restoration Act is a vital funding source for state fish and wildlife agencies. It is a win-win for anglers, sport fish, and the general public.
The Sport Fish Restoration Act is also important for the economy. In 2021, the act generated over $1.5 billion in economic activity and supported over 25,000 jobs.
The Sport Fish Restoration Act is a great example of how people can work together to conserve and enjoy our natural resources for generations to come.
The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is based on several key principles. The first is that wildlife belongs to the people and is held in the public trust. This means that everyone has an equal right to access wildlife resources, which should be managed for the benefit of present and future generations.
The second principle is a prohibition on the commerce of dead wildlife. Selling the meat or other parts of wild animals in North America is illegal. This helps to prevent over-harvesting and ensures that wildlife is being used appropriately.
The allocation of wildlife is also done by law. Laws developed by the people and enforced by government agencies regulate the proper use of wildlife resources. These laws ensure that wildlife is used sustainably and that populations are managed appropriately.
Hunting and Fishing Opportunities
Despite these regulations, North America still provides ample hunting and fishing opportunities. We can legally kill certain wildlife for food, fur, self-defense, or property protection. However, laws are in place to restrict casual killing, killing for commercial purposes, wasting of game, and mistreating wildlife.
International cooperation is another unique aspect of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Because wildlife and fish freely migrate across boundaries between states and countries, it’s essential to have agreements that allow for the responsible management of these resources across borders.
Managed by Science
Finally, the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is managed by science. The best available science is used for informed decision-making about wildlife management.
This helps ensure that populations are being managed appropriately and that the ecosystem is healthy.
State Wildlife Management
State wildlife agencies play a vital role in wildlife management in the United States. They are responsible for a wide range of activities.
Roles of State Wildlife Management
State and federal aid in wildlife agencies are responsible for managing both game and non-game species. Game species are hunted or fished, while non-game species are not. State and federal agencies and wildlife agencies work to ensure that all wildlife populations are healthy and sustainable.
Researching Wildlife Populations
State wildlife agencies research to learn more about wildlife populations and their habitats. This information is used by state agencies and wildlife agency to develop and implement wildlife management plans.
Wildlife Management Plans
Wildlife management plans outline the goals and objectives for managing a particular wildlife population or habitat.
State wildlife agencies develop and implement these plans with other stakeholders, such as landowners and sportsmen’s groups.
Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to wildlife.
State wildlife agencies work to protect and restore wildlife habitat through various programs, such as land acquisition, conservation easements modern wildlife management, and habitat restoration projects.
Managing Wildlife Harvest
State wildlife agencies regulate the harvest of game species through hunting and fishing seasons and bag limits. This helps to ensure that wildlife populations are not overharvested.
State wildlife agencies educate the public about wildlife through programs such as public outreach events, educational materials, and support hunter-education programs.
State wildlife agencies enforce wildlife laws and regulations to protect wildlife and their habitats. This includes investigating and prosecuting wildlife violations.
State wildlife agencies are essential to conserving and managing wildlife in the United States. They play a vital role in conservation funding and aid in wildlife restoration, ensuring that future generations can enjoy our nation’s rich wildlife heritage.
The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is a proven system for protecting our wildlife resources.
It has been on point for the past 130 years and is based on key principles such as public trust, proper allocation, and science-based management.
While there are still challenges facing our wildlife resources, this model is an excellent foundation for ensuring they are managed sustainably and will be available for future generations. So, let’s celebrate this model and work together to protect our natural resources.